08 December 2006

Something About Howard Rich, More About War

Surprise! According to Tom Phillips' Eagle Publishing's Human Events Online magazine (see July 28's "Part 7, Objective Journalism" ), Howie Rich of New York is a "FREEDOM FIGHTER". I Kid You Not:


Viva La Raza!

We were talking about when the waters changed. As I said, I read the story a long time before the latest round of hysterical revisionism ... er, HISTORICAL revisionism.

Once upon a time, a president from Texas convinced us all that the People's Republic of North Vietnam had sent rowboats out to attack our navy's destroyers. And, we were stuck in a quagmire, called Vietnam. The Texas president's term was ruined, and in early 1968, with the TET offensive, the country turned against the war.

The Democratic Party tore itself apart, although the primary voters gave the nomination to Bobby Kennedy, who promised to get us OUT OF VIETNAM. Sadly, on the day he secured the nomination in California, Sirhan B. Sirhan assassinated him.

Richard Nixon won the presidential election in a squeaker, beating Hubert H. Humphrey, the Vice President, with Nixon's "Secret Plan To End the War."

Now -- this is the important part -- neither party nor candidate was willing to admit that we should just get out. We had to "save face" or else "no one would trust us," and everyone would see that the USA was a pussy.

The communists would triumph, sliced bread would come to an end, and the sky would fall.

So: Nixon's first term managed to rack up the majority of the 58,000 US combat casualties -- AFTER everyone had agreed to leave Vietnam.

It was called "Vietnamization," and, although the Nixon tagline WASN'T "We'll stand down when they stand up," it might as well have been.

And we left, and Vietnam fell, and the whole anti-commie hysteria never noticed that nationalism was more powerful to the Vietnamese than communism, and they had two quick wars with their fellow communist countries China and Cambodia.

And, if we had just pulled out in January of 1968, the final outcome would have been no different, and all those American boys who died AFTER we realized that Vietnam was a mistake never had to die.

They died for the "macho" of a bunch of liver-spotted politicians, they died so that we could "save face."

Why is the life of ONE soldier less important than the ego of the powerful? It is an unjustifiable and monstrous hubris.

And now, again, those who lived through Vietnam, that huge possum-sized lump in the anaconda of American history, the Baby Boomers, have forgotten that lesson, as we now engage in what none dare call "Iraqification."

Vietnamization didn't work then, and Iraqification won't work now. As Santayana said: Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

The only issue now is "saving face." Well, I don't know about you, but I am unwilling to sacrifice ONE soldier's life to salve the national ego. We screwed up, we need to stop flushing good blood after bad. The people of Iraq will self-determine, whether we are there or not, and occupation will never work. Period.

And, again, we're making the mistake of thinking that ideology will trump nationalism. This is, once more, the basis of our "thinking" about Iraq.

So: in the name of all those kids who died needlessly AFTER we realized that we could not win in Vietnam, leave Iraq. Leave Iraq now. Don't sit here and lecture us about how we'll look to the world. We already look like monstrous horses' asses. Killing our kids to "save face" is as insane under Bush as it was under Nixon.

There's even the sub rosa movement to invade Iran, just like Nixon managed to invade Cambodia, even though he'd been elected promising to wind DOWN the war, and not to expand it.

Recall that famed quote of the Vietnam war: "We destroyed the village in order to save it."

We've collectively decided to leave Iraq. Now let's have the cojones to admit we made a mistake and leave. Or, every politician who insists on "stability" or any other rationalization for not leaving is an active participant in the murder of every US soldier killed in Iraq, and every Iraqi killed by a US soldier.

The waters have changed time and time again since Johnson escalated an attack from a couple of rowboats on some US destroyers (which may not have ever happened) into the decade-long Vietnam war. Now, as baby Bush fiddles and Rome burns, we've been there, post "shock and awe" almost four years. If we don't watch it, we'll be there for ten.

Oh, and one other little thing. The press is on vulture watch: we're at (as I write this) 2945 dead troops in Iraq, according to the radio. (see http://www.icasualties.org/oif/ for more complete stats)

They're waiting for that "magic" moment when US casualties top the death count for 9-11 -- about 3,000.

I got's news for ya's kiddies: we passed that death number a long time ago. According to the WASHINGTON POST:


Census Counts 100,000 Contractors in Iraq
By Renae Merle
The Washington Post
Tuesday 05 December 2006

There are about 100,000 government contractors operating in Iraq, not counting subcontractors, a total that is approaching the size of the U.S. military force there, according to the military's first census of the growing population of civilians operating in the battlefield ... About 650 contractors have died in Iraq since 2003, according to Labor Department statistics....

So, Americans killed as a direct result of this war passed 3,000 a long time ago.

Let's show the world that we can be the high-minded moral pricks that constantly have all the ethical answers -- as we remind them on a near-constant basis -- and admit we made a mistake. Let's do the honorable thing and leave. Let's be less afraid of being laughed at by other countries than we are of murdering our own sons and daughters.

And let's stop murdering Iraqis. We were going after Saddam, and now our kangaroo court has caught, tried and convicted him, and sentenced him to death. We had no other issues with the Iraqi people. Can we please stop killing them now?

Bring the troops home, NOW. http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/


07 December 2006

Nothing About Howard Rich, Everything About War

Just so's you know I'm obviously one a' them "Merricka Haterses" in league with the "terr'ists," I will begin with one of my favorite Sufi stories, courtesy of Idries Shah.

Note: I read this before the Embassy hostage incident in Iran, before the Russian invasion of Afghanistan; before the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein and Bushdaddy's "Operation Desert Storm" to get it back -- the basis of Dick Cheney's wealth, by the by, but that's another story.

So, it wasn't politically indecent when I read it, but, in light of the great Moralist Dennis Prager -- an LA radio talk show host whose morphing conservatism predates the rise of Limbaugh and his minions -- or, rather, the self-appointed cultural bluenose, yet another drip in a sea of Anthony Comstock wannabes, Dennis Prager: Anything associated with Islam is presumptively terrorist. You know, like the Qu'ran.

Sufism sort of exists inside and outside of Islam, after all.

I don't know why this is, but, within Islam, Sufism sort of did the same thing with the new religion that Dennis Prager did with the New Right Wing: they found a way to blend in, since Sufism predates the Hejira of 622 CE. (according to some) or, has nothing to do with it at all, according to others.

I read this story before Idries Shaw was, allegedly, a collaborator with the Mujahaddin in Afghanistan, or Cat Stevens changed his name to Yusuf Islam and was identified as a terrorism collaborator (for his charitable work) and deported from Maine, where his plane was diverted to, after the ever-vigilant Department of Homeland Security realized that the feared Muslim folk-singer was traveling to Nashville with his daughter from London.

The CD was released at the end of November as "An Other Cup" by "Yusuf" -- stripped for obvious reasons of "Islam" in any type larger than 6 point on the CD, by the by -- and it's great for old Cat Stevens fans -- although I suggest you listen to the track "I Think I See The Light" (number 8) FIRST. Then the rest is safe for listening.

And, as Nashville was NOT one of the recording sessions -- London, Johannesburg, Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) and Los Angeles -- Red State America remains defended against the-artist-formerly-known-as Cat Stevens.

Oh yes: the old ROLLING STONE critics who so loved snarking on Cat Stevens have now all become NEW YORK TIMES movie critics --

Janet Maslin
and Stephen Holden http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/catstevens/albums/album/303011/review/5942605/foreigner

-- but the new RS snark of Yusuf carries with it the same Olympian disdain and snootery that characterized the RS criticism back in the halcyon days of the mid-70s.


So it's deja vu all over again, except that Cat ... er, YUSUF's now a terrorist. I'm sure some Christian Patriot has outed the notorious terrorist Idries Shah, too, but, frankly, I'm too damned pooped to check it out.

Well, I should just tell you the story (as best I can remember it):
from From Idries Shah's book, TALES OF THE DERVISHES

When The Waters Changed

Once there was a village, and Khidir, messenger of the unseen world came and warned people: on a certain day, the waters will be changed and everyone who doesn't have a special store of the old water will change and become crazy. Only one man listened and hoarded a store of water in a cave hidden outside of town, known only to him.

On the appointed day, sure enough, the waters changed, everyone drank and began to get crazy. Our friend, sad and a little worried, noticed this, but he had his special water to keep himself sane. He would come into town, and return to his cave and his store of pure water.

Finally though, the loneliness got to him, and he went into town and drank the new water. Instantly he forgot about his cave and went insane like the rest.

Later, one of his friends took him aside and told him: "We were really worried about you. For awhile we were afraid that you were insane."

Which brings us back to Vietnam.

But Scheherazade perceived the coming of day and fell silent.



06 December 2006

Forsan Et Haec Olim Meminisse Juvabit

"Perhaps it will be a joy later to remember these things." (Latin)

Another year, a mystical birthday: my age coincides with my IQ. Kosmikal, one supposes.

Anyway, here's a nondenominational musical present. (Right click and choose "save as." 1.2 megs, 2:32. It loops nicely in your media player).

the middle way

As a Sagittarius who was conceived in a converted horse stables, I wish you many happy sleigh rides and good oats.


10:40 PM
NOTE: For whatever reason, the link is NOT coming up in either Firefox or Internet Explorer. (&%#@@* Blogger Beta, anywho) So here's the raw link, linked: http://www.hartwilliams.com/joy-byhartwms-2006.mp3.