While our government spits at its people and gets away with murder, is it fair for us to sneer at bad guys who do something for their people?
Lebanese men dug a grave for a man who was removed from the rubble of a house in Ainata, in southern Lebanon, by Red Cross workers (photo by Joao Silva for The New York Times)
When you get right down to it, the country has been taken over by people who fall into two categories:
• Those who know that every word that comes out of the mouths of everyone associated with the current administration is 100 percent pure, reeking bullshit
• Those who don't know
All that's left to "analyze," where the American Right is concerned, is which category individual laboratory specimens fall into. (Actually, there are also hybrid wingnuts, who somehow manage to know that some of it is bullshit sometimes while remaining blissfully unaware the rest of the time.)
Nowhere does this divide show itself more sharply than in the field of national security. Of course Dick Cheney knows he's lying. It's what he does, like breathing and shitting. However, when it comes to what his simian sidekick Chimpy the Prez knows, it's anybody's guess.
Personally, I'm so infuriated by, and also sick and tired of, the administration's total-bullshit P.R. campaign against international terrorism that I couldn't even rally myself to comment on the latest round of suspiciously timed adminstration lies. Oh hell, there was nothing "suspicious" about the timing. Anyone with a working brain knows by now that anytime this administration is feeling the heat, it launches a campaign of terror against its own (apparently still) unsuspecting citizenry.
It has become so fuckingly, nauseatingly predictable! If there were even the tiniest spark of justice in the universe, by now those people have lied so much that they would just go poof! and vanish into the ether.
I suppose it should provide some encouragement that they get away with it less easily each time they go to the well. In the long run--by which I mean the 2006 midterm election and the 2008 presidential and congressional elections--it's just possible that enough people will have gotten wise to t'row da bums out! But you still have to prove to me that the tactic has stopped working.
I heard on the radio this morning that officials in the U.K. were going to court today to persuade a judge to allow them to continue holding all those terror suspects they rounded up. Now, unlike the "terror suspects" periodically rounded up by U.S. authorities in times of administration political need, the ones collared by the Brits look like actual terror suspects, which is to say, people who may actually have been engaged in planning major terrorist activities that could have resulted in large-scale loss of innocent life.
However, as we know by now, officials in the U.K.--where the fight against terrorism is waged sensibly as a police matter--were nowhere near ready to make those arrests. And while the timing may have been influenced by the arrest of that supposed ringleader in Pakistan, the growing suspicion is that the timing was just plain coerced by the world's most heinous collection of ass-coverers, attempting to cover up the world's most revolting collection of the world's filthiest asses, the U.S. government.
"Ooh, we have new polls showing that Americans would feel safer if there were a pile of poop (an actual pile of poop, that is) in the White House instead of George W. Bush. Ooh, ooh, gotta 'rest someone!" And if it makes it harder for the Brits to prove their cases legally, well, who cares? How many terrorists has the Bush administration successfully prosecuted?
Still, I feel bad for having fallen down on the job, the job being to scream, "LIARS! LIARS! LIARS!" at those fucking liars every time they open their fucking pieholes and let that fucking poop plop out. I didn't even pause to point out some of the people who battled through their combat fatigue to join the battle.
Keith Olbermann did a fine job the other night on his MSNBC show with the timeline of the American terror panics.
And both Paul Krugman ("Hoping for Fear") and Bob Herbert ("Aiding Our Enemies") produced bang-up columns on the subject Monday. If you haven't read them yet, by all means read them. Trust me, they haven't become a whit less topical in two days!
Perhaps strangely, what has set me off now is a seemingly very different newspaper head, the one-column lead in this morning's Times:
WORK TO REBUILD,
John Kifner begins his report, from Beirut:
As stunned Lebanese returned Tuesday over broken roads to shattered apartments in the south, it increasingly seemed that the beneficiary of the destruction was most likely to be Hezbollah.
A major reason--in addition to its hard-won reputation as the only Arab force that fought Israel to a standstill--is that it is already dominating the efforts to rebuild with a torrent of money from oil-rich Iran.
Nehme Y. Tohme, a member of Parliament from the anti-Syrian reform bloc and the country's minister for the displaced, said he had been told by Hezbollah officials that when the shooting stopped, Iran would provide Hezbollah with an "unlimited budget" for reconstruction.
In his victory speech on Monday night, Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, offered money for "decent and suitable furniture" and a year's rent on a house to any Lebanese who lost his home in the month-long war.
"Completing the victory," he said, "can come with reconstruction."
Over the years it has been mentioned with some frequency, even in American media, that movements like Hamas and Hezbollah have won strong support among local people by providing social services--roads, schools, homes, health care, essentially all the infrastructure and economic structure that those people despair of seeing from their supposed governments.
Oh yes, it's mentioned, but do we get it? Sure, there's plenty that Hamas and Hezbollah do that we have good reason to despise. But do we get it that for large numbers of people living in bad to desperate conditions, these are the only sources of hope for any improvement in their quality of life?
I don't think so. Even those of us who feel compassion for those afflicted souls tend to patronize them, as if sure, we understand why those primitive souls naively accept help from such bad people. Poor babies.
But does it ever occur to us that at least they're getting something real from their exploiters? They're getting at least some basic tools of life, some hope for the future where otherwise they would have none. Do those refugees returning to what's left of their former homes in southern Lebanon care that the rebuilding comes courtesy of the Iranian propaganda machine? Why on earth should they?
Compare the way we Americans do a rebuilding. We pour a third of a trillion dollars (or however much it is--does it matter? it's all gone, all vanished) into Iraq and it all disappears. It all finds its way down the sinkholes of American thievery to the corporate whores who put George W. Bush in the White House and keep him there while they squeeze out every cent's worth of return on their monetary investment.
The beauty of corporate cronyism practiced on this scale is that it can take almost as good advantage of natural disasters like the hurricane-borne devastation of the Gulf Coast. Why, seen from the right angle, it's a bonanza, a veritable godsend for our profiteering machinery. You can even see that if you look at Hurricane Katrina just right, old Brownie really did a heckuva job.
Luckily, most Americans aren't in need the way the people who depend on Hamas and Hezbollah are. However, most of the votes that enabled the Bush machine to steal its pair of presidential elections came from people who are getting about as much from their government as those poor souls in the Middle East are getting from theirs.
From the Rove-Ranging Right, non-rich Americans get:
• lying platitudes,
• savage ignorance,
• psychotic ideology,
• bogus religion
• and a degree of scorn that can only be described as loathing and contempt.
There is no thought from either the government or, apparently, those governed of a government role in nurturing a livable environment or an economy and a society that not only work but work for the benefit of the whole population. And instead of doing perp walks, these people who have seized control of the country are strutting around as if they're God's gift to America.
Of course God is one of the few gifts they offer to America, and that they give freely. Isn't it becoming increasingly clear, though, that the God of America is a god of lying, thievery, exploitation and--when it suits their purposes--murder?
Well, when the people who run the show have made it a basic principle to call everything the opposite of what it really is, I guess this is what you'd expect from a "culture of life."