“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

the american world view: drivel yesterday, drivel today, drivel tomorrow

The Washington Post, in its drive to turn its Georgetown party set editorial page into a veritable worldview, hosted two enlightening forums yesterday. One was headlined, Is France Doomed? A bold headline indeed, given the state of these here states, with the zero savings rate, the negative foreign investment - first time since the depression - the dandy Bush war we have lost while floating the cost of it through the friendly services of the Japanese and Chinese central banks, the ace prison population absorbing the unemployed, etc., etc. But, remember, France has the best health system in the world and the French have a 35 hour week – two reasons in themselves to suspect that the country is a sinking ship. The beauteous yawps that were let loose under that headline were amusing to read, but to get the full flavor of WAPO’s worldview, LI also read the discussion of Boris Yeltsin’s death, a Q and A with the foreign correspondent, David Hoffman, who covered Yeltsin in the early nineties who – you are not going to believe it, boys and girls! – turns out to be a firebreathing advocate for Milton Friedmanish economics. Just the kind of guy who'd give his unbiased two thumbs up to shock therapy. He was given to such nonsense as this:

“washingtonpost.com: You mention the privatization of Russian industries under Yeltsin, something Putin largely has undone. Is Russia better off with or without the oligarchs who built up empires after the fall of communism?

David Hoffman: Putin has only partially undone the privatization, and it will be impossible to reverse it entirely. The most important point is this: a lot of history shows that states and governments are lousy managers of capitalism. They should set rules but not run companies. Anyone who ever saw a Soviet state-owned factory, or one in China, or anywhere else will get the idea. If you look at the Russian oil companies about 2002, when a big study was made of them, it was fascinating: those that had been totally privatized had the best oil production, profits, etc. Well, now Putin is going back to state ownership of hydrocarbons -- oil and gas. He wants to build "state champions," like Gazprom. Well, history shows that state champions is an oxymoron when it comes to capitalism. It doesn't work.”

Yeah, you can’t build state champions. I do wish the Asian tigers had just listened to the common sense of people like Hoffman. In other news, Toyota surpassed GM in car sales to become the world's largest auto company today.

However, LI isn’t writing this post to playfully shoot our elephant gun at the Dumbos of the Washington Press – we’ve taken it down to shoot our old friends, the Dumbos of the war mongering set. So many things have flowed from the razing of Fallujah in 2004, all of which were so easily predictable that LI mentioned them at the time that war crime was being perpetrated by American forces. The latest idiocy of walling off Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad is revelatory of the dead end of the American strategy that began when American troops razed Fallujah, killed the males there in the ages between 13 and 65, erected concrete barriers around the city, and instituted Big Brother surveillance. At the time, Fallujah was touted openly by the military as the wave of the future.

If this is democracy, Iraqis are right to violently reject it; in fact, Tom Paine doesn't have to turn over in his grave, for this is democracy like a high school production of Guys n Dolls is Broadway. The vaunted elections, as we know, were contrived in the spirit of clubhouse farce. They were held, remember, as soon as the constitution was illegally approved. The illegality stemmed from the very rules adopted to govern the process. The elections consisted of the presentation of party names to the Iraqis, with the keebosh put on campaigning on such issues as ending the occupation. The result of the election of vague party tickets was a shuffling of dupes and strawmen at the top, the better to direct the grift. Maliki, the ersatz leader of Iraq, can’t even apparently order the American troops to stop building a concrete wall in his own capital city; meanwhile the Americans are told by their embedded newsjocks that the GI name is so jokey, “gated community”, that it naturally becomes headline fodder. Pity, a name like sealing off the Sunni scum, or Sunni untermenschen imprisoned, awaiting final solution didn’t creep into the American journalistic parlance. The wall provides this wonderful message to the Sunni: resist or die.

In late November, 2004, as LI pointed out at the time, the assault on Fallujah basically magnified and helped create violent tensions between the Sunni and the Shiite. It was supposed to. There is no doubt that the internicene war going on in Iraq at the moment, in which lamblike America is ‘in the middle’, got its start when lamblike America engaged in razing Fallujah, importing death squad tactics from the old days in El Salvador. Lamblike America did what it could to ensure that the political leadership of the Shi’a – a group idiot D.C. warmongers thought were in the warmonger pocket, save for the ever arrestable Muqtada Sadr – was give the green light to trample on the Sunnis. It was a tension in Iraq that had not resulted in civil war in eighty years, even as Saddam persecuted Shi’a religious leaders – but that the Americans put their fuckin boots on it with all their might, being occupiers with little knowledge of the country they occupied, and of course being led by the Bush gang.

1 comment:

northanger said...

freakouts & christian nationalism. CN was (still is) what the early civil rights movement was dealing with. it's always been there. imho, the unintended consequences of the christian right & the war on terror leaves us more vulnerable internally/externally. essentially, the Bush-Cheney game plan did not change after 9/11 — they just appended stuff to it.

btw, Jessica Lynch & the Tillman family testified before the House today. when someone walks away from a lucrative sports contract to serve & protect their country, that's a 180°. the Bush administration never had that type of commitment to this country.