Sunday, July 15, 2007



William Kristol doesn't want to pack up his tent, admit he's been wrong for decades and crawl back under a rock. He wants to see more death and destruction fruitlessly spinning off from the failed policies he shrilly advocates. Chaos, horror and utter ruin may not be victory per se but they're close enough to serve the actual purposes of the NeoCon dead-enders like Kristol and Lieberman. His opinion piece in today's Washington Post, ostensibly about how history will judge Bush as a winner, is at once the silliest thing in today's paper and the most macabre. He followed it up with an interview on GOP-TV claiming that Iraq isn't in a civil war. He's wrong about Iraq-- as he has been from the very beginning-- but I'm as concerned about the civil war far right-wing loons are dreaming about for America as I am about a discredited William Kristol's thoughts about anything.

Yesterday's Independent published a story by Johann Hari about a chartered cruise put together by far right propaganda rag, the National Review. Ken and I have had fun writing about these cruises in the past, over at my travel blog, but, of course, neither of us has would ever set foot on one. Johann paid $1,200 to do just that though. And he fed some of the animals-- who aren't in cages.
I lie on the beach with Hillary-Ann, a chatty, scatty 35-year-old Californian designer. As she explains the perils of Republican dating, my mind drifts, watching the gentle tide. When I hear her say, " Of course, we need to execute some of these people," I wake up. Who do we need to execute? She runs her fingers through the sand lazily. "A few of these prominent liberals who are trying to demoralise the country," she says. "Just take a couple of these anti-war people off to the gas chamber for treason to show, if you try to bring down America at a time of war, that's what you'll get." She squints at the sun and smiles. " Then things'll change."

I am travelling on a bright white cruise ship with two restaurants, five bars, a casino-– and 500 readers of the National Review. Here, the Iraq war has been "an amazing success". Global warming is not happening. The solitary black person claims, "If the Ku Klux Klan supports equal rights, then God bless them," And I have nowhere to run.

His fellow cruisers are obsessed with suicide bombing-- from every angle-- Islamophobia, Francophobia, intellectualophobia, Fox News ("she gets on her knees every day to 'thank God for Fox News'"), Limbaugh and hatred of liberals-- who they want to kill. "The idea that Europe is being 'taken over' by Muslims is the unifying theme of this cruise. Some people go on singles cruises. Some go on ballroom dancing cruises. This is the 'The Muslims Are Coming' cruise-- drinks included. Because everyone thinks it. Everyone knows it. Everyone dreams it."

The self-satisfied wingnuts on the cruise, like Fox News' audience, are very old, very conditioned to right wing dog whistles and far closer to death than to birth. And they would love to see an American civil war. What do they have to lose? The seminars seem to be taking place on a bizzaro planet.
There is something strange about this discussion, and it takes me a few moments to realise exactly what it is. All the tropes that conservatives usually deny in public – that Iraq is another Vietnam, that Bush is fighting a class war on behalf of the rich – are embraced on this shining ship in the middle of the ocean. Yes, they concede, we are fighting another Vietnam; and this time we won't let the weak-kneed liberals lose it. "It's customary to say we lost the Vietnam war, but who's 'we'?" the writer Dinesh D'Souza asks angrily. "The left won by demanding America's humiliation." On this ship, there are no Viet Cong, no three million dead. There is only liberal treachery. Yes, D'Souza says, in a swift shift to domestic politics, "of course" Republican politics is "about class. Republicans are the party of winners, Democrats are the party of losers."

But, to be fair, the National Review cruise is not all doom and gloom and civil war. It is, after all, a vacation of sorts and they're going to sunny Mexico.
The nautical counter-revolution has docked in the perfectly-yellow sands of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, and the Reviewers are clambering overboard into the Latino world they want to wall off behind a thousand-mile fence. They carry notebooks from the scribblings they made during the seminar teaching them "How To Shop in Mexico." Over breakfast, I forgot myself and said I was considering setting out to find a local street kid who would show me round the barrios-– the real Mexico. They gaped. "Do you want to die?" one asked.

The Reviewers confine their Mexican jaunt to covered markets and walled-off private fortresses like the private Nikki Beach. Here, as ever, they want Mexico to be a dispenser of cheap consumer goods and lush sands-- not a place populated by (uck) Mexicans. Dinesh D'Souza announced as we entered Mexican seas what he calls "D'Souza's law of immigration": " The quality of an immigrant is inversely proportional to the distance travelled to get to the United States."

In other words: Latinos suck.

Unlike, say... Indians. But after a day of beach sunning on private stretches of sand and bargain hunting in fake markets, it's back to singing the praises of Donald Rumsfeld and Augusto Pinochet--"He privatised social security"-- and plotting the deaths of a billion Muslims.

Karl Wallinger's band World Party said it musically on their first single in 1986:

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At 11:11 AM, Blogger Subliminal Erotica said...

Oh, man. I used to go to a political chat room that sounded exactly like this ship of fools. And it's no exageration. There really are people who want a Civil War in America - so they can have a legal excuse to kill all the liberals they can kill. I know because they told me so. A few told me I'm first on their list.

A bunch of drunks in a chat room? I hope it's just that. But watching that room for a few years, I'm 98% sure they're not just mouthing off.


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