Meh Culpa

Fandango Friday: Hang your head low

Scaramouche

Scaramouche

There are days when you just want to go back to bed.

  • Blago was indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald yesterday–as if we didn’t all see that coming.
  • Coleman conceded today.  Maybe he asked his erstwhile backers to show him the money and they claimed that Bernie Madoff had run off with it.
  • Obama had his first date with the G-20 and he didn’t get a goodnight kiss. “I think we did all right,” he said.  Not really.  Many Americans don’t know that the rest of the world blames us for the  sand trap we’ve all found ourselves in, but they do.   Rightly.  We failed to regulate our financial system and we got pwned as a result. Now we’re going to have to learn to make do with less, to not being the Head Muckety Muck of the World.  It won’t kill us to reduce our exceptionalism.  We’ve been living off its insidious fruits for too long now.
  • Bristol Palin’s ex-beau, and the father of her child, thinks he and Bristol could conceivably get back together someday.  Dude, before 2012?  Ya think?
  • Robert Reich says “It’s a Depression.” Oh yeah. And in California there are predictions of 12% – 15% unemployment by next spring.  (I think I am going to move.)
  • The Guardian has posted a brutal video of a young girl being whipped (literally) by the Swat Valley Pakistani Taliban a day or two after Karzai declared rape legal in Afghanistan.   The girl in the video was punished for leaving her house with a man who wasn’t her husband. She begged them to stop beating her and just kill her. This beating was not about the religion of Islam as some may believe, it’s cultural and it’s local.  Still, it makes you want to hang your head low that there are such bad men in the world.
Advertisements

April 4, 2009 Posted by | Afghanistan, Depression, diplomacy, Economy, Foreign policy, human rights, Obama, Pakistan, politics, religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’d like to say it’s prescient

but still,  the essay is well worth reading: “How Bin Laden Bankrupted America: The Five Ways” by Jon Basil Utley

I can remember writing something to the effect back in 2002-ish after Bin Laden’s “Letter to America” was published– on an old e-list that no longer exists–that Bin Laden was brilliant.*  That he hated Saddam and would never work with him, but would allow us to think so if it would both ruin Saddam and us.

The text of Bin Laden’s letter provides a map of his brain, to some extent.  He lists our shortcomings–our sins and venality and meddling–and advises us that we have compromised our values–although in 2002 most Americans didn’t yet know the half of torture, extraordinary rendition,  and least of all the lies about WMDs in Iraq.  At the very end,  he says what wants to happen (or believes will happen):

If the Americans do not respond, then their fate will be that of the Soviets who fled from Afghanistan to deal with their military defeat, political breakup, ideological downfall, and economic bankruptcy.

In this respect, he’s looking back at history.  The Soviets were defeated.  The British were defeated at Herat in 1880, although it was India that did in the empire.  The Center for Strategic and International Studies has published a plan for winning the Afghan War, but given our current economic circumstances, I don’t think we can afford that war.  We might be able to afford to chase Bin Laden down via covert ops,  but we can’t deal with war on the scale it would take to remedy the connected situations in Pakistan and Afghanistan–unless you treat war as an extended employment opportunity, which I hope you do not.

Just my nickel.

* I think it might be a good idea to fact-check Bin Laden’s claims. You know, see how much is real and how much isn’t. There is truth to some of what he writes, but he does have a warped POV so you have to take that into consideration. Maybe some day if I have time.  (Off to study more medical terminology now…)

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Bush administration, Economy, Foreign policy, India, Iraq, Iraq War, Russia, torture, WMD | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment