Donkey Punch

June 11, 2008

Eisenhower was Right.

Filed under: Not Funny, Outrage Fatigue, Politics, war, War Profiteering — t4toby @ 3:09 pm


Dwight D Eisenhower was a wise man. And a Kansan. I’m not sure which came first. But suffice to say he was very prescient about how the companies with a financial interest in war should be closely watched to make sure they don’t drum up conflict to pay their paychecks.

Take it away, BBC:

A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq.

Who could have ever predicted this?

Seems that that 23 billion dollars went missing, but all parties in cases involving the lost money are under a gag order.

In the run-up to the invasion, one of the most senior officials in charge of procurement in the Pentagon objected to a contract potentially worth $7bn that was given to Halliburton, a Texan company which used to be run by Dick Cheney before he became vice-president.

Go figure.

Henry Waxman, who chairs the House committee on oversight and government reform, said: “The money that’s gone into waste, fraud and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous, it’s egregious.

“It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history.”

If only one of our leaders had been wise enough to warn us about this.

D’oh!

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

To be fair, I guess, the Fifties were a long, long time ago…

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May 28, 2008

U.S.S.R? Yes we are.

Filed under: Outrage Fatigue, Politics, Propaganda, war, writer's block — t4toby @ 1:02 pm

We have retired military officers pushing the party line in the media.

We have agent provocateurs infiltrating our vegan potlucks in order to quell dissent.

We have a congress falling all over itself to protect the companies that helped Bush and Co. to commit multiple felonies.

We have a “Justice” Department that refuses to enforce any subpoena that Congress hands down.

The same “Justice” Department also seems to have colluded with the White House to jail Democrats for political reasons.

I have been aware of these stories for some time. They are just the tip of the iceberg. I really don’t know what to say. I could post every day on these subjects, but yelling, “WHY THE FUCK DOESN’T ANYONE CARE THAT CRIMINALS ARE OPENLY COMMITTING CRIMES AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT EVERY TIME?”, whilst bashing my head against the keyboard and dreaming about the sweet release provided by a nice cold, hoppy IPA does not good reading make.

I recently was acquainted with the idea of fuzzing an investigation. Basically it means to blur the details of something by cutting the information up into little bits. Each bit needs the other bits to make any sense, so by isolating parts of the information from the other parts, the truth gets fuzzed up.

I think that is kinda what is going on. There are so many things wrong with our government right now that it is impossible to grasp the big picture. Every day we hear of a new scandal, or a new investigation, or a new tale of malfeasance and woe. There is no way to worry about what happened yesterday, because we are just hearing a new bit about a new scandal. The avalanche of these News Bit Sound Bites paralyzes our sense of outrage. Mine is pegged constantly.

The result? I freeze up. I am at a loss. I fail as any kind of instrument of change because I am simply overpowered by the deluge of wrongness.

Or, as my wise friend Wilson puts it:

Inch by inch, life’s a cinch.

Yard by yard, life is hard.

Hard to count the inches when the outrage stretches to the moon.

May 14, 2008

The Truth.

Filed under: Hypocrisy, Not Funny, Politics, war — t4toby @ 9:33 am

Another one of mikey’s comments that should be read by all. The back story is that Bush claimed to give up golf for the war but then went ahead and played for awhile.

Here’s the thing.

You can give up golf. You can stand in the bright sunshine and spew platitudes and justifications.

But just as it comes to those of us who did the killing, three aye emm will come for you, Mr. President.

Oh, I know, you don’t think so. Frankly, many of your most fervent opponents think you don’t have the capacity for that kind of suffering.

But you and I? We know different, don’t we Bush? We know they come to haunt you already, and that’s will all the crimes and games and stories still in play. You’re already starting to get it. Get the pain, the horror, the guilt. You kind of understand, in a fuzzy way, that you’ve got a lot to process in your remaining years. That those nights are long and dark, and they just get longer and darker.

Some night, in a few years, you’re going to be pacing the house, angry, scared, sweating, gripping Saddam’s pistol in your hand, knowing the lies were lies and the lives were wasted.

I killed, Mr. President, at my country’s behest. In large numbers. A few nights I took more lives than you did as governor. And I pay for it, over and over again, in spite of the awards and rewards of my “grateful nation”.

My family suffered for my damage. My country suffered for my crimes, as I was unable to stop fighting a war that never ended.

You know these pains, Mr. President. You recognize the haunting guilt, the things you did, the things you could have done, the things you didn’t do. And every crime is so much greater in your case. You never held the line. You never fought to hold a perimeter, you never killed at eyeball range to keep from dying, to keep from losing your friends, to get one more goddamn hour when you are nineteen years old and you just know you don’t fucking want to die.

Oh no. You owe the devil so much more. The lives you through into the grinder, American lives, Iraqi lives, American families, Iraqi families, widows, orphans, amputees, those that died quick and those that died hard and slow.

There are those who say only you know why. But you and I know the real truth, don’t we. That there is no why. You did it because you could, and you wanted to. You can never offer up a justification because you know that ultimately, there is none. All this blood. All this horror.

Go into your dotage in peace, Mr. President. The ghouls and the souls of the dead will not allow you to sleep in peace.

And that is, I suppose, as it should be. At last, you are a veteran…

mikey

April 25, 2008

War Porn

Filed under: Politics, war — t4toby @ 11:27 am

The sear trips.

The hammer drops, driving the firing pin forward.

The firing pin embeds with the open, welcoming primer.

Click

The pin hits the primer.

FsssshhhhPOP

The primer cooks off.

The flame spreads into the powder in the case.

BAM

The powder cooks, and the bullet releases from the case and enters the barrel.

The pressure builds behind the round as it gathers speed down the barrel.

The gas is routed back through the gas port, inpinging on the bolt carrier.

The bold carrier is driven backwards, disengaging from the chamber.

The bullet exits the barrel, having reached it’s final velocity, and the pressure in the barrel subsides.

The bolt carrier travels back on it’s rails, pulling the spent casing back with it.

The extractor hits the cam and kicks the spent case out of the ejection port.

The bolt carrier hits the end of it’s travel and begins to return forward.

The bullet is seventy five yards downrange, traveling at twenty nine hundred feet per second.

The bolt carrier strikes the top round in the magazine, stripping it and driving it into the chamber.

The bolt locks up with the fresh round correctly headspaced in the chamber.

The round is supersonic, traveling downrange with a familiar ripping noise.

The round hits a young Iraqi, high in the chest.

It’s a 55 grain slug with a steel or titanium penetrator core.

It pierces the skin and begins to expand in the muscle. It barely touches the rib as it goes by, but it’s enough to set it to tumbling. It tumbles through the chest cavity, down and to the left, tearing through the right lung, liver and the top of the right kidney. It exits, spent, in the lower back after knocking a chunk out of the pelvis.

The young Iraqi runs a few steps, slows, looks around in confusion. Blood bubbles up in his mouth. He coughs and spits. Looks around again. Nobody’s around. The sound of gunfire still hammers in his ears. He takes a few steps into an ally, and drops to his knees.

He doesn’t know it, but his lung is collapsing while his chest cavity fills with blood. Very little blood leaks out of the small entry and almost as small exit wounds. But the bleeding is fierce. This young man’s life will, from here, be measured in minutes.

He flops, propping up against the wall of the ally. Breathing is harder. His vision is grey. The sounds of the fight seem farther away. He thinks of his childhood, of his sister, his mother. He just needs to rest. Yeah. He leans over, coughs up a great gout of blood, and he dies.

You want porn? War is porn.

Sex is beautiful, even when it’s not.

When strangers fight desperately to kill one another?

That’s the most evil pornography imaginable. And that seems perfectly acceptable to these criminals.

Bah..

mikey

November 9, 2007

Disappearing Act

Filed under: Habeus Corpus, Military Comissions Act, Politics, war — t4toby @ 1:56 pm

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I’m not sure this has been discussed enough. The President was given authority, by the Military Commissions Act, to ‘disappear’ you.

The MCA gave the president the authority to declare anyone an “enemy combatant”. Anyone.

This means that if they don’t like your politics, you can go to a black site in some ass-backwards country and be tortured with impunity. With no legal recourse.

This is the bill that the Democrats could not possibly vote against in September of 2006, because every Serious Person in Washington knew that standing up for the Constitution was a losing issue come voting day.

What is happening to America?

November 5, 2007

Remember, remember…

Filed under: Bush's Democracy, impeach, Iran, Politics, Radical!, Revolution, Struggle, war — t4toby @ 1:55 pm

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Happy Guy Fawkes Day, everyone. I thought I’d take today to run down the State of the Union, in honor of the revolutionary spirit.

We already have an acting fascist government.

We are a a hair’s breadth away from starting another disastrous war.

The corporate controlled media is totally complicit in all of this.

Dissent has already been criminalized. They just haven’t started the round-ups yet.

In fact, I think we are one false flag operation from the complete suspension of the Constitution. This would explain why they soldier on on all fronts as if they aren’t going anywhere. No Constitution = No elections.

So call me Chicken Little. Accuse me of being a conspiracy theorist.

I just call ’em as I see ’em.

October 23, 2007

‘Where can anybody be safe from Bush’s democracy?’

Filed under: Bush's Democracy, iraq, Outrage Fatigue, Politics, Surge, war — t4toby @ 12:05 pm

And with that, Mohammed al-Samarrae hits the nail squarely on the head.

‘Whenever we want to open a new chapter with the Americans, to forget the past and try all over again, they drag us into violence, weapons and fighting again. And to sympathize with al-Qaeda against them. All because of their inconsideration for our blood.’

Chris Floyd, guest blogging at Greenwald’s digs, discusses the Glorious Surge and pretty much sums it up:

“We invaded your country under knowingly false pretenses, fixing the intelligence around the policy, because our leaders, who were in possession of vast amounts of intelligence that undermined or refuted their stated casus belli, couldn’t reveal their true, long-held intentions… We destroyed your infrastructure, we destroyed your society, we destroyed your history, we enthroned extremist militias to rule over you, we tortured your sons and fathers in the same hellhole that Saddam used, we killed a million of your people and drove millions more from their homes. And we intend to stay here for as long as we like, in the vast ‘enduring bases’ we are building on your land. Now if you don’t accept this, if you keep shooting at us and trying to make us leave, then we will go on bombing your families in their homes, we will go on killing your women and children, until you stop.”

What can I add to that?

neverforget.jpg

October 22, 2007

Bomb, bomb, bomb, Bomb,bomb Iran…(updated)

Filed under: Big Dick, Dick Cheney, Fareed Zakaria, Iran, war — t4toby @ 1:05 pm

Israel attacks Iran. Iran fights back. The US levels much of Iran’s infrastructure. At least of generation of bona fide terrorists are spawned.

Lookie what the Big Dickhead had to say over the weekend.

Our government is so fucked up. If we attack Iran, look for the draft. That is their ace in the hole:

“But we have to have a draft to fight off the Muslim Hordes!”

Never mind the fact that with each new Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, we create untold new enemies. It is almost like they want to incubate terrorists so the military industrial machine had fodder for its unlimited appetites.

Update: Fareed Zakaria breaks it down:

Iran has an economy the size of Finland’s and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran.

October 17, 2007

Perspective is Everything.

Filed under: iraq, Not Funny, Perspective, Politics, Uncategorized, war — t4toby @ 3:10 pm

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This diary is a must-read.

I won’t excerpt it. Just go read it.

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Amazing chalk art by Julian Beever.

October 16, 2007

It’s time to make a choice.

Filed under: 12 Captains, Draft, GWOT, iraq, protest, quagmire, war — t4toby @ 11:07 am

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In today’s Washington Post, 12 Army Captains deliver a sober assessment of the war:

What does Iraq look like on the ground?
…Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Baghdad is averaging less than eight hours of electricity a day.

How do you like yer democracy, Iraq?

Iraq’s institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting.
…At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic sheiks that ruled under Saddam. There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.

The gist of the article is that we either need to get serious, instate a draft, and really try to win, or immediately withdraw.
I have been saying for some time that if this Global War on Terror is the conflict of our generation, then let’s have us a draft. Quit screwing around and ask the American people to actually, you know, sacrifice something.
Why was World War Two won in four years? Because we pulled together and actually fought a war. The whole nation had War on the Mind 24/7. We rationed. We volunteered. We acted like it mattered.

Call me cynical, but I believe we never would have continued down this road to War Profiteer Hell if we had instated a draft. This war seems to be about power and oil, and nothing else. And as these Captains point out, we have made no headway in the last five years.

There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition.

America, it has been five years. It’s time to make a choice.

Ramen.

h/t CHS @ Firedoglake

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