Aug 24, 2010

The Empire Tries to Strike Back

'All y'all dumb motherfuckers don’t even know my opinion on shit'.

If there was ever a defining moment in the 2010 midterm elections, I would have to argue that it occurred when the statement above was made by a black construction worker who had just passed through a gauntlet of “protesters”. The crowd had assembled in lower Manhattan to express their absolute hatred for Muslims, fueled by years of neoconservative propaganda (though it only seems like a few weeks). The unidentified man, wearing a skin cap, immediately assumed to be a Muslim artifact, made the completely appropriate statement, under the circumstances, when the crowd started directing their vitriol toward him.

Clearly, none of the protesters were interested in knowing his opinion but rather projecting it upon him. Yet, he probably made the most sensible and astute comment they had heard since tuning off Fox News before traveling to New York.

A few writers have pointed out that the controversy over the Park51 development is akin to short attention span syndrome, myself included. Glen Greenwald, and Ron Paul point out however that there is a sinister underpinning to the controversy that cannot be ignored. 
“The animosity and hatred so visible here extends far beyond the location of mosques or even how we treat American Muslims.  So many of our national abuses, crimes and other excesses of the last decade -- torture, invasions, bombings, illegal surveillance, assassinations, renditions, disappearances, etc. etc. -- are grounded in endless demonization of Muslims.” 
Ron Paul puts the blame squarely on those who deserve it:
“In my opinion it has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.
They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars. . . “
While the controversy has come to a head and may even have taken people by surprise, it shouldn’t have. The controversy stems from the preposterous claim that the U.S. is in danger of being converted to a Sharia law system, seeded by neoconservatives as early as 2007 during the run up to the 2008 Presidential election.

When I first heard this drum beat, I found the claims far too incredulous to even take seriously. More properly put, I couldn’t fathom that such could be stated with a straight face and figured it even less likely that anyone would believe.

When Newt Gingrich was first hinting he might toss his hat in the ring for the 2008 election, it was this very claim he used as a rationale for running.

In fact Robert Spencer, one of the main mouthpieces for the daily Muslim hate Fox hosts have been scheduling, writes Gingrich is “the first major politician to acknowledge that the problem America faces today from Islamic jihadists is not simply one of terrorism, but of a larger attempt to insinuate elements of Islamic law (sharia) into American society, and to assert the principle that where sharia and American law conflict, it is American law that must give way.

Gingrich may have been the first back in the 2008 cycle to use the word “Sharia” in this context, but he wasn’t alone in projecting the general sentiment that Islamic Jihadists were ready to take over the US. At the time, I believed, especially after 8 years of Bush/Cheney, that these ideas were unmarketable.

In January 2007, Mitt Romney, during a speech to the National Review Institute Conservative Summit, said:
“This [Jihadism] is Sunni, it’s Shia, it’s Hamas, it’s Hezzbollah, it’s Al Qada, it’s The Muslim Brotherhood, it’s financed by some countries that don’t even know they’re financing it in some cases, it’s preached to millions of people, it’s broadcast to the masses, it’s taught at schools in scores of nations and it is devastating to civilizations. Their objective is to replace moderate governments with a caliphate..” [It’s the Kitchen sink too!]           
I wasn’t the only one who couldn't imagine voters taking this nonsense seriously. David Weigel, when he still had a Job at Reason: 
“The GOP field is talking like the last seven years of war and horrible blunders didn't happen - the closest they come is McCain bitterly talking about the botched Iraq occupation. No one's challenging the candidates' hawkish talk about Islam and Iran, much less fact-checking it on the spot.”
As Matthew Yglesias at the Atlantic pointed out, the broad brush should have resulted in a far more incredulous response.
To put it bluntly, the trouble here is that the Muslim Brotherhood just isn't a violent terrorist organization, and certainly doesn't commit acts of violence against the United States. It's an extremely traditionalist multinational civil society organization. It's true that a lot of violent types used to be in the Brotherhood and now they're in terrorist groups, but used to be is the key phrase here, they left the Brotherhood because the Brotherhood wouldn't sign on for their agenda. In one clause, Romney's just gone and broadened the war to include a huge new category of people who have no intention of waging war against the United States or even against Israel.
I didn’t pay attention to how coordinated and consistent the message was among many of the 2008 primary campaigners nor did I suspect the  neoconservatives would continue market this nonsense following the election. After all, 2008 didn't turn out so well for Republicans. However, after a two-year, constant barrage of scare mongering, the topic of Sharia has hit a fever pitch. Andrew McCarthy from the National Review back in July breathlessly proclaimed:
"Henceforth, there should be no place to hide for any candidate, including any incumbent. The question will be: Where do you stand on sharia?"
In Oklahoma, politicians have taken this so seriously that they’re proposing a legislative ban!

The entire issue over Sharia law is fabricated. For the past two years, I merely ignored this talk of Sharia encroachment as ridiculous, kooky conspiracy theory. For one, that’s what it is. There is absolutely no evidence that Al Qaeda or any of the terrorist organizations we’re allegedly fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan will ever be able to penetrate our political system in such a way. For another, it’s simply bigoted nonsense that hasn’t been even remotely supported with empirical evidence.

That’s where the covert bigotry and the broad, unchallenged assertions (where the hell is the media?) become so devastating.  By linking the moderate, peaceful Muslim groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni, Shia, Mosques across the US which have never asserted any militant tendancies and people like the Imam involved in the Park51 development (who incidentally worked with the FBI’s counter-terrorism group during the Bush administration), the neoconservatives are counting on their base’s ignorance and fear propelling them back into power come November. Clearly, Gingrich has been planning this for at least a couple of years.

It’s a coordinated effort where a prophecy seems to come to life right before our very eyes and Newt rides in on a white horse to save us from the terrible, evil Muslims. Shakespeare couldn’t have scripted it better.

It gets even weirder. The media play here is downright choreographed as noted by John Stewart in a brilliant skewering of Fox news and the neoconservative pundits to whom it devotes so much air. Stewart also points out that Fox, who appear to be working in concert with Gingrich, are themselves funded by the very Muslims they are hoping you will hate.

That aspect of it doesn’t appear to have a rational explanation at first glance. However, if you take into consideration that the neoconservative goals stated in its PNAC documents back in 1994 were to completely remake the middle east, it makes perfect sense.

The House of Saud, from whence Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal eminates, was the main benificiary of the region’s reconfiguration at the end of WWI. It has cooperated and helped to fund most of the CIA’s covert ops in the region ever since, most of which were designed to increase the oil profits of American and Suadi interests (the un-stated goal of the neoconservatives). 

This same Saudi Prince has himself funded the very Mosque for which the media company he’s bailed out is attacking.

It’s probably the largest political con-job I’ve had the sadness to witness and grasp in my lifetime.

The entire point of the exercise is to suck the American electorate into arguing and fighting over something that can achieve no good for the US no matter which side wins but for which the major players win whatever the outcome. More War! Hooray!

Gingrich is trying to frame the debate, with more than a little (once illegal before a recent supreme court decision) help from a battery of neoconservative columnists and media personalities such that the 2010 and 2012 elections focus on a single question: “Where do you stand on sharia?”, rather than the variety of questions that will determine whether or not we can climb out of this government-induced depression.

You are to forget that the trillion dollar foreign policy, which they foisted on this nation, is the solution rather than the cause of our looming bankruptcy, a growing hatred of US policy abroad, increased chances of terrorism and an entire generation of broken soldiers who will be dependent on the government for their health and well-being as they return from these same wars.

You are to forget that not one of them has any problem with the counterfeit stuff we produce and which is now losing its cache as the worlds reserve currency. You are to forget that the recent health-care bill and fascist bailouts of banks and auto companies were jointly foisted upon you by members of both parties claiming to represent you in Washington D.C.

But the support for their kooky conspiracies is also fabricated. In collusion with the media, and polling organizations the neoconservatives are creating a facade. We’re supposed to believe that the liberty movement is dead, that the tea parties have in a matter of weeks all succumbed to this nonsense and that the only thing we can do is avoid a conflict with anyone asking us our bonifides on the matter of Sharia. If you can’t answer that question, you are to be cast out from our political system and shamed into silence.

I have a feeling that this will backfire on them. It needs to backfire on them badly. Unless it does, you can just welcome more of the same disdain directed towards us from our “representatives” until the entire system finally collapses under its own dead weight.

Don’t despair though. Ron Paul has shown once again that merely shining the light on these cockroaches is the best defense. Shine your lights and speak out for liberty and we’ll send the bigots scurrying for cover. There’s nothing a bigot can say which dishonors his target.
To bigotry no sanction.” – George Washington
"Tell your commander that we are not here to make peace but to do battle to defend ourselves and liberate our kingdom. Let them come on and we shall prove this in their very beards." - William Wallace

Aug 21, 2010

Eat the Circus

It shouldn’t amaze anyone that the decaying entertainment providers in this country, even those which purport to be the alternative to “liberal media”, have, in the face of the second US depression, been promoting the least relevant current events. Some might go so far as to claim that this is by design. Whatever the truth is, if we are being manipulated on purpose or merely being given the titillation we crave, we are witnessing the actions of a lost and shell-shocked population who do not want to face the situation with which they are confronted. Instead they aimlessly stagger from the trivial to the benign with increasing volume and frequency.

There have been a very long string of emotional outbursts from the media which have diverted our attentions from what is important, timed just so.

On September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld announced that the Pentagon had “misplaced” 2.3 trillion dollars, (yes, with a T) the amount of which could have paid for the subsequent Iraq war three times over. For obvious and legitimate reasons, the press never got warmed up on that story. But it also never revisited the matter to any significant degree and there are probably a great number of Americans who have no idea that so much money has been “lost”.

Today, our government is so far in debt, there aren’t enough Federal Reserve Notes in circulation to repay what has been borrowed. In spite of this, our well-born masters, when they’re not worrying about baseball players using steroids or who should be allowed to play in a BCS bowl game, are informing us that Muslims are about to completely take over our political and religious traditions, replacing them with Sharia law. (By building a cultural center?)

It hasn’t of course occurred to any of them that the majority of immigrant Muslims in this country fled nations that had instituted some tyrant’s idea of Sharia, because they didn’t want to live under such a system. If we follow the logic of Newt Gingrich and others to its conclusion, most came here because they hate freedom and are so mad about being free that they pine away for a society where their little girls cannot get an education, where their neighbors and wives are stoned or beheaded for what most of us would consider minor social faux pauxs, citizens routinely disappear at the hands of secret police and private property is confiscated by local warlords.

It is self-evident that this logic is faulty. Sadly, an argument that should be limited to those who have an ownership stake in the property under dispute has spread like wildfire and consumed the audiences of talk-radio and social networking sites as if the fate of the world rests in the balance.

If that topic doesn’t suit you, we’ve got pure sports talk gold! In 2008, Roger Clemens asked Congress to let him testify in order to provide a counterpoint to the accusations being made against him. Two years later he’s been indicted for perjury. What’s the lesson here? Why it’s that lying to Congress is more serious than any drug use, which is purely awful, especially if you claim it never happened. How dare he lie to Congress! How dare he claim his innocence! Nobody does that and gets away with it!

Unless of course, Congress has asked somebody to come and lie to them for selfish reasons.

In late 1993, Charles Schumer arranged for the testimony of then 14-year-old Kiri Jewell, a young lady who claimed that Koresh molested her when she was 10. Jewell’s father, who had been hustling Kiri’s story to every news outlet and Hollywood contact he could find, brought his daughter to Washington so she could add child molestation to the infamy of David Koresh. For Schumer it was a golden opportunity to run interference on behalf of the BATF and FBI who had been responsible for the largest and deadliest federal police-action in US history, though it was not the first time police had burned women and children to death.

Kiri’s testimony was uncomfortably salacious and crude even by Congress’ standards. It was also questionable. Kiri was not a resident at Mt. Carmel at the time she claimed the incident took place. She lived in California with her mother and grandmother. The reporter who discovered this fact, Ambrose-Evans Pritchard, a Washington correspondent for the London Telegraph, was not asked to testify. Had he done so, he might have let the committee know that it only took him 15 minutes to make the discovery.

The FBI may have burned to death 84 innocent people who were never alleged to have committed any crime other than failing to pay a tax stamp, but they at least got an alleged child molester in the bargain. Point being, the FBI had no incentive to prosecute Kiri for perjury or her father for suborning perjury. The public will ignore the most radical tyranny if the victims are sufficiently demonized. They certainly didn’t notice when Carlos Ghigliotti an expert at analyzing infrared (FLIR) footage died before he could testify on behalf of the surviving Branch Davidians. What a coincidence. Look! Zimbabwe!

In other recent news, the kind that shall go unnoticed as we amble through and gawk at train-wrecks, the US government announced quietly that Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons after all and it won’t have any soon, if ever. After spending the past thirty years demonizing Iran and claiming for the past eight that there was an imminent nukular threat, government officials conceded that Iran might actually be telling the truth about its nuclear program.

10 days ago, on August 20, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (the monopoly that determines interest rates for the country’s banks) admitted that its previous predictions about the economy’s recovery were premature.

“The pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement in Washington.

Their solution? To buy up more debt from a government that could not repay it even if it confiscated an entire year’s wages and corporate profits of the entire US population. What our masters are doing to us is similar to the funny prank that only works in b-grade comedies.

“Look! Behind you!”



( Queue laugh track )

President Obama has been doing his darnedest to ensure that the Federal Reserve has lots and lots of debt available for the aforementioned money printing scheme. This week he was at the home of an Ohio architect who had benefited from the economically brilliant plan of beg, borrow and steal from the productive to pay the leeches. He even got within a few feet of the plebes, braving pollen and mosquitoes for the edification of the masses.

When he’s done telling us how the government’s economic plans might take a decade to produce results, he’ll take a nice 2-week vacation in Martha’s Vinyard just like us. And we’ll get to watch it all in High Def.

When the bankers and Obama have driven most of us into unemployment and starvation, after we’ve finished arguing over who is the most evil non-threat to our freedom, perhaps we can eat the circus.