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Oddly Ambivalent

This describes my feelings (or lack thereof) about the Bin Laden killing on Sunday. On Monday I chalked up my inexplicable numbness to shock, but I find myself at a loss to explain my lack of strong emotions three days later.

I’ve been reading and watching the reactions of Americans across the country for the past three days, and I find myself reacting to the reactions more than I do to the event itself. I suppose this has helped me to discover what I know I don’t feel.

I don’t feel compelled to condemn those who celebrate. I especially don’t feel the need to condemn the celebratory mood of Americans that were directly affected on 9/11. If you lost a family member or worse (in my opinion), have to live with the memory of watching people jump out of the twin towers, I don’t feel the right to deny you the satisfaction or healing that this may give you. Who the fuck am I to judge your pain?

I don’t feel an overwhelming sense of joy either. I don’t feel compelled to celebrate Bin Laden’s death. I also don’t feel a moral superiority over anyone that is celebrating. I don’t feel the need to diminish anyone else’s feelings with a pompous tweet or Facebook update designed to display my moral or humanitarian superiority.

Here’s the really weird one; I don’t feel compelled to use this event as a political tool. I don’t feel like lashing out at W (if someone can explain that one to me, I’d be eternally grateful). He was incompetent and worthless. We already knew that because there’s a mound of evidence proving it. George W Bush is a fucking jackass that ruined everything he ever touched, but I don’t feel like piling this failure on top of a mound that’s already taller than twin towers will accomplish anything new.

Conversely, I do feel angry when I hear anyone giving Bush credit for Bin Laden’s demise. He doesn’t deserve an ounce of credit, and telling me that he does is an assault on reason and logic. And assaulting reason and logic makes me mad. I will concede that it’s inconceivable to assert that nothing that happened during Bush’s tenure, led to the events of Sunday night. That simply doesn’t make sense. Everything that led to Bin Laden’s demise couldn’t possible have started after January 20, 2009. That’s just stupid. And if you believe this to be true, you’re unspeakably stupid. But I do know that any valuable information that was collected during Bush’s tenure, was never leveraged by the Bush administration to get the job done. We’ve seen a long history of the Bush administration’s manipulation, misunderstanding, and misuse of intelligence gathering. Bush didn’t get Bin Laden because he didn’t care to, and because he was incapable of doing it. Period. The facts speak for themselves; Bush didn’t get it done. With all that said, I’m more angry over the assault on my intelligence than I am the actual fake credit being given to Bush.

I do feel angry when people try and diminish or dismiss President Obama’s accomplishment here. It really takes a special kind of asshole to do that. You really have to be a little dead inside to be wound so tightly into a partisan knot. When your “team” mentality supersedes any kind genuine, visceral emotion, you’re just fucked up beyond what I can comprehend. I honestly don’t believe that I would have negated the very same accomplishment if it were Bush that had gotten it done. I judge people on each individual accomplishment or fuck up, independent of past accomplishments and fuck ups. We like to paint with broad brushes and either lionize or demonize across the board because doing so is easier than thinking. George W Bush is as close to a complete and total fucking loser, as any president we’ve ever seen in the history of the world. I still capable of giving him credit for not fucking up the North Korea situation. I can do this because I’m not a simpleton, and I don’t need for situations to all be black or white in order for my world view to work. If you can’t give Obama the credit he’s due, then fuck you.

My feelings all seem to be centered on issues that are ancillary to the actual event, and I’m mildly disturbed by that. So I’m going to go to ground zero tomorrow, in the hope that some of what everyone else is feeling will seep into me by osmosis.


Moral Clarity

In my experience, people that have moral clarity when it comes to politics or world affairs are ignorant, insufferable simpletons. I offer that observation in order to explain why I have not yet sorted out my thoughts in the Bin Laden situation.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think the world is a better place with one less lunatic extremist. But pragmatically speaking, his death is more of a emotional victory for America than anything else. It makes Americans that crave revenge feel good. It gives friends and family members of 9/11 victims closure. I’m not minimizing the value of these things, since they’re obviously important to Americans.

Personally, I wish we’d gotten him alive. I want to know what he knew.

His death doesn’t change anything in the world. It doesn’t topple the giant, superfucking scary terrorist network known as Al Qaeda because al qaeda was never what it was made out to be. I never bought into the narrative that al qaeda was this huge organization with tentacles all around the world. Not because I didn’t want to, but because common sense told me otherwise. When we learned that 100% of the 9/11 hijackers were from the same country, we should have all recognized that this was a small operation. If they were far reaching and organized, those hijackers would have been from all over the world. Shit, Cirque Du Soleil has longer tentacles than al qaeda!

The foiled terrorism attempt in the UK in 2006 confirmed my belief that al qaeda was a small operation since again, all involved were (or descendants of) from one single country; Pakistan. Again, this would have been more of a multicultural plot if al qaeda were as big as we’re supposed to believe they are.

In addition to confirming how small al qaeda really was, the UK plot told me something else; Bin Laden moved to Pakistan. When you’re a lunatic with a small number of followers, you recruit and radicalize in your own backyard because you don’t have the means to reach people that are physically very far from you. It was reported for years, that Bin Laden was in Waziristan, on the Pakistan/Afghan border. That sounded credible to me, based on the fact that the UK plotters all had ties to Pakistan. He definitely wasn’t going to hang out in Afghanistan after we went in, no matter how incompetent the Bush administration was.

So in 2007, when candidate Obama declared that he wouldn’t hesitate to go into Pakistan if he felt it was necessary, I was the only liberal on the planet that wasn’t outraged. OF COURSE we had to go into Pakistan. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s dictator at the time, wasn’t doing a fucking thing to help us get Bin Laden. I wasn’t thrilled when Obama ultimately took the drone route into Pakistan. Nothing turns people against you more effectively than if you kill one of their family members, who was just out on a slurpee run to 7-eleven, with an unarmed drone. I would have preferred he taken a more “intelligence” and policing route, you know, the way we catch serial killers and pedophiles. But this isn’t the first time this president has done something I wanted him to do in a way that I completely disagree with. I’m fairly certain it won’t be the last.

Both parties built up al qaedamania so that they could dole billions of dollars in government contracts out to their donors, in a vomitous display of exploitation. Bush was the worst of the worst, since he used this fear to do everything from invading Iraq, to stripping us of our rights to privacy, to taking away the fundamental right to habeas corpus, to a whole host of other bullshit that you’re all familiar with by now.

The one thing about Bin Laden’s death that I do have clarity about is that the GOP won’t give Obama an ounce of credit for effectively executing it. They lorded his death over our heads for eight long years in an effort to scare us into voting for them. And now that it’s finally happened, they are utterly classless. They’ve spent all morning crediting the troops that they fuck over every chance they get and the intelligence community they spent 8 years marginalizing for Bin Laden’s assassination, with no mention of Obama at all. Their minions in the right wing press are coming up with batshit crazy ways to demonstrate that Obama doesn’t deserve credit. Assertions that Bush’s wars have toughened him up, since he obviously wouldn’t have had the stomach for this type of assassination two years ago. Fantasies about how “harsh interrogation techniques helped nail Bin Laden”. Please spare me this assault on logic and reason.

Your party couldn’t get the job done. In fact, I can’t remember the last time your party got anything done for Americans. So if you show some class, then just shut the fuck up. Really, I’m sick of your bullshit.

Readers of this blog know that I hate democrats. But at least once every decade, they throw me a crumb like giving me COBRA, or repealing hateful practices like “don’t ask don’t tell”. This republican party on the other hand, does nothing but debase my country, pick my pocket to enrich their self entitled asshat donors, and crap on days like this when most Americans are proud.

Fuck you, and your “moral clarity”.


Propagandists Work Too Hard

They really do. It’s not easy. They have to start a news network, start a publishing company, start a polling organization to legitimize the crap they say in their books and on their news network. And on top of all that, they have to finely tune the deception and obfuscation, lest the public catch onto their propagandistic ways.

Poor propaganda machine. They desperately need some relief. Fortunately, I have a brilliant solution, but it may take some behavior modification on your part. Let me walk you through what you have to do step by step so that you don’t get confused about your role.

The first (and most important) step is that you must be willfully ignorant. Let me be clear on this point; you can’t just be passively ignorant, you must be proactively ignorant. So if you’re channel surfing and happen upon a news network, IMMEDIATELY change your channel to something in the teens so as to ensure that you land comfortably on an episode of Seinfeld or Friends. They will serve as your snuggie of ignorance, enveloping you in a warm embrace of cluelessness. Another thing that you must be aware of, is the pitfalls of the internet. Surfing the internet is fine, but only if you take a few precautions. Step one is to hide any of your Facebook connections that might be aware of the world around them. Step two is to make sure to avert your eyes when you stumble upon a news story. So if you come across something about WikiLeaks and Afghanistan, you should definitely move your gaze to the portion of the screen that has Lindsay Lohan’s mug shot on it. That last one is very important because it’s not only the best way to be proactively ignorant, but it’s also your duty as an American not to jeopardize national security by reading such things.

Never mind the fact that some people have risked their careers and their very freedom to get the truth out there, ostensibly because what they’re being asked to do goes against the military code of conduct, or is so shocking to their conscience, that they felt compelled to get the information to the public. You have a duty to, as a patriotic American, not to know what the truth is. You see if you know the truth, you jeopardize the American way of life and the very freedom that our troops are fighting to protect. Not the freedom to be informed with the truth about your government, but all of the other ones like gun ownership and the freedom to stop your gay neighbor from marrying their lifelong partner. Those are the important freedoms that must be protected at all costs.

So in the interest of protecting national security, and of alleviating some of the pressure from our propagandists, stay ignorant. And by “stay ignorant” I mean work hard to be ignorant. Otherwise you’re just a bad American.


A Rising Star In The GOP?

I’m referring to the emergence of the latest self entitled, petulant, underhanded and  egomaniacal, fucking child. I’m speaking, of course, about Stanley McChrystal.

Mark my words, he’s going to be yet another example of how America has embraced the concept of failing upwards, more than he already has. I say more than he already has because he should have been finished years ago. His active participation in the Pat Tillman cover up should have, at the very least, prevented McChrystal from rising any further in his career. If that didn’t do it, the prisoner abuse at Camp Nama in Iraq should have done it. But no, neither of those incidents were career killers. McChrystal was inexplicably appointed by Obama to lead the war in Afghanistan.

I was concerned that Obama had chosen a man that was obviously devoid of honor to lead a marching band, let alone a war. So when McChrystal “leaked” his counterinsurgency plan to the press in order to pressure Obama to give him everything he wanted, I wasn’t surprised at all. It was a maneuver that was consistent with his history of underhanded and honorless behavior. This man is the antithesis of the courage and honor we think of when we conjure images of our military . Think about it, if McChrystal had any courage, he would have had faith in his ability to make an effective case to the white house. Since he didn’t have any confidence that he had done that, he had to do something as sleazy as leaking his wish list to the press to increase his chances of getting the resources he was asking for. It was such a slimy move, that I can hardly believe it was made by a four star General.

Obama should have fired him then since the ending to this story should have been clear at that point. But instead of firing him, Obama gave McChrystal every single resource that he wanted to “win” Afghanistan. He got all of the troops and all of the money that he wanted but that wasn’t enough for him. According to the now infamous Rolling Stone piece, McChrystal also wanted Obama to hold his hand and shower him with admiration. He wanted Obama to be more “engaged”. I have a newsflash for McChrystal; Obama inherited more problems than just your war. He inherited literally, a country in ruins. A financial collapse, ten percent of the country unemployed and losing their homes, a failed occupation in Iraq, a thoroughly broken justice department, corruption in every regulatory agency imaginable, and an unprecedented national debt. He doesn’t have time to shower you with attention and praise, you fucking child. Plus, he never claimed to be a military strategist so he did exactly the right thing; he delegated. He deferred to the judgment of people with vast experience in this area. That would be you, McWhiney.

Most military officials would be thrilled with a situation wherein they got everything they asked for without being micromanaged. But not our egomaniacal Stanley McChrystal. I suppose he would have been happier with a no-nothing Rumsfeld barking inane orders based upon unproven and ill conceived theories?

And then there was all the shit he talked about people that disagreed with his admittedly iffy plan. He’s one of those assholes that believes he’s surrounded by idiots, regardless of the qualifications of the people he’s talking shit about. I’m not going to go into every salacious quote since you’ve probably already read the Rolling Stone piece but man, did he come off as a total dick.

I love the part of the article that talks about the fact that McChrystal walks around carrying nunchucks with his name and four stars on them. For most insecure and yet egomaniacal men, driving a hummer seems to do the trick, but our Stanley needs more compensatory symbols than the average asshole to help him get through the day. In the end, he was in over his head, and had to lash out at everyone else because he isn’t capable of self awareness. I think he may need bigger nunchucks.

Stanley McChrystal has managed to live down to every expectation I had of him.

Can you tell that I won’t miss him?

My prediction is that this asshole is going to become the new Sarah Palin for the GOP. They need a more effective “hit man” than she’s proven to be. But don’t worry because like Sarah Barracuda, McChrystal has entirely too many character deficiencies to actually pull off running for high office. No, his future is as a professional mouth piece for the GOP.

I’m going to need to start buying earplugs at Costco! Lord help us all.


Re: The Ground Zero Mosque

If you’re a smart person, I’m not talking to you right now. This is an email I’d like to address to another demographic. Although, smart people can help me out by forwarding this to the people that you know that fit this demographic.

Dear Fucking Idiots In America,

I understand that your panties are in a bunch over a mosque that we’re planning on building at ground zero. I would like to be among the first to tell you to shut the fuck up, you ignorant bigot.

You see, your ass backward thinking is going to get me attacked, here in New York. While you wax poetic about hypothetical terrorism from your safety nest hundreds or thousands of miles away , I live with it every day. And as you propagate your ignorant, isolated views, you put me and my city in danger. I know that you don’t do this with malice, so let me educate you a little bit.

Terrorists aren’t born. They’re created. They’re recruited, and then they’re worked up to hate the purported enemy so much, that strapping a bomb onto themselves and committing suicide just to take a few of them out makes sense. Getting people worked up to the suicide bombing state takes a whole lot of demonization. You really have to frame the enemy as being a threat to all that is good and holy. If you can do that effectively, you can recruit legions of people to commit acts of terrorism until the end of time. They key is really all in the messaging. The nineteen hijackers on 9/11 were brainwashed into believing that America’s primary objective in the world is to destroy Islam. They believed that they were dying for everything that is good and holy.

When we invaded and occupied Iraq, a country that had done nothing to us, we reinforced that belief that America is out to destroy Islam so recruitment became easier. We started seeing Muslims becoming radicalized in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the UK, the US, and in Iraq, where we saw a brand new flavor of Al Qaeda emerge.

All of that happened because ignorant people got to call the shots. People that had no fucking idea about the culture in the middle east were making decisions on how best to deal with the middle east.

Let’s step back twenty years to where this all began. It really began when the Reagan administration, who were ignorant about middle east culture, decided that we needed to help Afghanistan fend off the Soviet Union. None of this was altruistic, of course. Reagan was scared shitless of the Soviet Union. So he was persuaded that going in and training and arming the Mujahideen in Afghanistan was in our best interest. That was all fine and good and it worked out more or less the way the ignoramuses wanted it to in that, the Mujahideen did succeed in driving the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. It all went horribly wrong after that, when we failed to provide Afghanistan any support to rebuild their country. This created a chaotic struggle for power among various factions of Mujahideen and Islamist warlords, which subsequently gave birth to Al Qaeda.

So you see, Fucking Idiots Of America, two generations of your ignorant brethren taking action without bothering to understand what they were getting into, is what got us to 9/11.

So now that we’re here in 2010, and still dealing with this global terrorism threat thanks to ignorant people like you. I hope that, with the information I just shared, you understand why I want you to shut the fuck up.

Recruitment of terrorists continues, and we’re still in danger. It’s time to disarm the recruiters. We need to cut them off at the knees. Fighting them “over there” is ultimately what brought them “over here”, so that didn’t work.

Now we’re going to try something new. We’re going to demonstrate that we’re not out to destroy Islam, and therefore don’t rise to the level of evil that necessitates strapping a bomb to your chest. We’re going to do that by building a mosque near ground zero. We’re going to make it harder to convince some poor schmuck to commit suicide on order to kill a few of us.

I’m sorry that after all of these years, you’re too stupid to understand this tactic. But I don’t actually need you to understand it. I gave up on the hope that this was possible when you made Sarah Palin your poster girl. I just need you to shut the fuck up, and stop providing fodder for the recruitment of future terrorists. Accept the fact that we’re going to build a mosque near ground zero for the primary purpose of demonstrating that your dumb ass doesn’t represent America.

You don’t think of New York as “the real America” anyway. You can’t shun us one day, and them presume to tell us what to do the next. We’re not within your border so shut the fuck up.

You can be ignorant, bigoted, and small if you want to but do it quietly. I just want to be safe.