Archive for the 'Afghanistan/Pakistan' Category

Madness

March Of The Wooden Soldiers

We now know the genesis of addled actor Clint Eastwood’s “talk to the chair” routine at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Seems the man was arest in his hotel room, preparing his speech, when some puckish alien-being forcibly piped in over the radio Neil Diamond’s 1971 his faultemu-pop hit “I Am . . . I Said.”

This is the Diamond number that contains the notorious foursome:

i am, i said
to no one there
and no one heard at all
not even the chair

This last line is one of the great clunkers in all of songwriting. People active and practiced in the craft,  to this day they cannot understand why persons and/or sound machines emitting such a travesty are not pelted with tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and other rotting substances.

I mean, yeah, the guy needed a rhyme for “there.” And, in this tune, Diamond is deeply afunk in Bummertude. Because he ain’t being listened to. About the crushing burden of having to live in Los Angeles, rather than New York. In order to earn eleventy-billion dollars in the music business.

So sure, okay, we get it, nobody’s listening to him bleat.

And, among the nobodies, can be counted a chair.

But, like, had the chair ever heard him? When he was moaning about having to earn more money than Midas, out in LA, rather than in New York? Was it normal for the chair to give ear, when he was on about such things? Was this like . . . a magic chair?

Or, since we are talking 1971 here, a drug chair? A chair that, when Mr. Diamond delved into the many fine psychoactive substances of the time, heard and talked and danced and sang and otherwise engaged in all manner of merry wonderful weirdness?

We receive no information about any of this. All we know is that the chair doesn’t hear him.

And this is not surprising. Because a chair—unless it is a drug chair, and/or a quantum physics chair—is not equipped with drug chairaural apparati. Hearing is not what a chair is supposed to be about. The thing is there but to plant your butt on.

No. Sorry to say, what we must here reluctantly conclude, is that Diamond was a lazy-ass mofo. Who just settled on some “chair,” not hearing him, because he was too slothful and/or thickheaded to come up with any other rhyme for “there.”

And it is said that the man spent four months writing that song.

And in all that time the best he could up with was “not even the chair”? The mind: it reels.

Today, while driving, it took me about four minutes to come up with about fourteen alternatives.

For instance, if Diamond had not been suffering from a city-disability, and were singing instead from or about some country place Normal, then various and sundry animals could have been mustered not to hear him. We could have had “not even the bear” or “not even the hare” or “not even the mare.” Who were not hearing the guy.

Or he could have complained “not even Aunt Clare,” which would also have allowed him to go wild with banjos in the break. Or “in all County Klare,” which would have permitted him to pour a thundering wall of bagpipes into the song.

Since Diamond at the time was riding a wave of songs in which he praised unrestrained bibulation—”Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Red, Red Wine,” etc.—he could have referenced his ongoing rednoseness by admitting “and no one heard at all/when I tripped on the stair.”

He could have been all stoic, and defiantly proclaimed: “and I did not care.” He could have gone dada, and pronounced: “so I ate a pear.” Or strayed into Isaac Hayes territory, with “so I porked the au pair.” He could have envisioned the onrushing cult of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and come out as a crossdresser, boasting “so I shaved with Nair.”

And so on.

Anywho. Clint—fast-forward to 2012—is there in his hotel room, when suddenly the extraterrestrials—who, as has previously been documented here on red, owned and controlled the GOoPer portion of the 2012 presidential campaign—bring to him over clint chairthe radio Diamond declaiming about the obdurate chair that will not hear.

And  Clint, he experiences a truly massive brainshower. He will go on stage, with a chair, and pretend it is President Obama. And, like the Diamond chair, the Obama chair, when Clint pours out upon it his complaints, it will just sit there; it will neither hear, nor respond.

This brainshower, it will be remembered, when it was spewed out across the land, was considered a laff riot by that 23% of the American population that occupies what is today the equivalent of Dogpatch.

“Way to put it to the black man, Clint!” the Dogpatchians, they squealed like a pig. “Yeehaw!”

However, those of us who have not married or otherwise had sexual congress with our sisters, and/or other blood relatives, we had quite a different reaction.

Not even the Captain Underpants people, it developed, not even they, could easily stomach the chair scene. Literally, they could not stomach it. Senior Underpants advisor Stuart Stevens, it is said, vomited. While the Neil-inspired Eastwood, he was dying there, on stage, with the chair. Stevens, he wished that, like in the Diamond song, no one would hear Clint. At all. Not even the chair.

It was the astute AvoWoman who first pointed out to me that this speech was not the first time that Eastwood had publicly addressed wood products.

Oh no. For way back in 1969, Eastwood wandered around on screen, “singing,” in the film Paint Your Wagon, “I Talk To The Trees.”

And even back then, the wood gave ol’ Clint the deaf ear.

And it was not only the trees. But every other blessed natural element, as well.

I talk to the trees
But they don’t listen to me
I talk to the stars
But they never hear me
The breeze hasn’t time
To stop and hear what I say
I talk to them all in vain

Be warned. Beyond the furthur, I shall embed Mr. Eastwood. “Singing.” Not only that, I shall also embed, from the same film, Lee Marvin, also “singing.” And this last, some say, is the aural equivalent of the Holocaust.

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Eyes Be Closed

This Monday, came a “report,” from a “study,” that US medical doctors, attached to the armed services, they had joined right in, back in the BushCo days, when American serial killers had determined that it was Right And Meet to, in the name of the abu ghraib superstarWar on Terra, torture, or even kill, Bad Brown People.

They had, these docs, at the very least, according to said study, sat on their asses and sucked their thumbs, while their fellow serial killers inflicted “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” on human beings never charged with, much less convicted of, a single crime.

Imagine my surprise.

For, back in the day—five, six, seven years ago—on the once and future blog Never In Our Names, folks like Valtin, and Avila, and I, we wrote about this shit all the time.

Not that anyone paid any attention.

And: note: we didn’t merely foam at the mouth. We strived, just as did these newbie “study” people, to source, to soberly express.

Not that anyone gave a damn.

I understand why the right didn’t give no damn. Because, nothing at all ever pursued, by George II and Darth Cheney, could ever possibly be considered, by such people, “torture,” much less “death.”

But I remain puzzled, even unto today, why the “left,” they, during this period, mostly sat on their Cheetos.

Until—Avila was the first to point this out to me—the black man ascended, in 2009, into office. At which time the lefty white dumb racist fuckscrackers, they suddenly came boiling from out of each other’s a-holes, to scream till their lips bled, that the black man, he should be lashed into jail, for not lashing into jail the white men—torture! rendition!—who had come before him.

Weird.

Today, I feel like such a fool. For spending all those years. There at StormKos. In an alleged “lefty” borough. As riven with racists as any righty sewer on the tubes. Yea, verily: even more so. For, these days, on StormKos, you can even crow you helped kill a black man. And still be lovingly embraced. To the dKos Marky-Markos bosom.

Semper fi.

Anyway. When, on Monday, “reports” of the “study” emerged, there came a great hand-wringing:

“This is a big, big striking horror,” said Dr. Gerald Thomson, professor of medicine emeritus at Columbia University[.]

Why? Why, exactly, is it a horror?

These doctors, all of them, every one, to the fucking core of all that they are, they are serial killers. Because they have sold their souls to the US armed forces. Which is about nothing but killing people. And breaking things.

They, these people, these “doctors,” are wedded to Thanatos. Lined up against life.

They, these alleged doctors, may once upon a time have sworn to some bullshit oath about “first, do no harm.” But that’s all over now. Because they are in the United States armed forces. Where their sworn duty is to kill. Or assist in a kill. Or overlook a kill. Or excuse away a kill.

They are not doctors. They are killers.

They don’t give a goddam fucking shit. They will, these “doctors,” visit whatever harm, upon a human being, they are told to.

And this they did.

We don’t need to go to Germany. We don’t need to go to Japan. We don’t need to go to China. We don’t need to go to the USSR.

For examples. Of doctors as killers.

We have just had more than enough. Right wronghere. In the US of A. Thank you very much.

I try not to write about this stuff anymore. Because It breaks me.

But not completely. Because I’ve looked over.

It’s simple: you don’t want your hoo-rah doctors to be some latter-day riff on Dr. Mengele? Then get them out of the armed forces.

Next, get your country, out of the armed forces.

This last, it is so simple and basic and obvious, that I’m weary tired unto death of expressing it.

But I will, below, again, because I feel that some people—this “feeling” no doubt merely some form of brain damage—are just creeping up on getting it.

And so, once again:

As has been observed here, many times, before, the Founders did not intend this country to maintain even a standing army. Which is why the Constitution specifically prohibits army appropriations of more than two years. And since the US is at peace with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, it does not need an army. So the army should be eliminated. As the only legitimate use for an air force is in support of ground troops, it should be eliminated as well. The Marines need to be folded back into the Navy, from whence they sprang; they are support troops for ships, that’s all they are; that they are sent to fight in landlocked countries, like Afghanistan, is madness. So: down the loo, they go. Since the US already possesses a Coast Guard, perfectly capable of patrolling the waters of the continental United States (Alaska and Hawaii are imperial possessions, and should be permitted to break free, as should all overseas territories, possessions, protectorates, and the like), Americans can go ahead and get rid of the Navy, too—Marines and all. Make a clean sweep.

No more serial killers. No more death industry.

Unless, devotee of Thanatos, this—hoorah, anchors aweigh, wild blue yonder, semper fi—is what you do like:

Me, I vote no. On Thanatos. In its all and every.

I vote, instead, for this: eros over eros eyes be closed in eros over all:

Oh, Ashley

In one of her most recent meth-mouth ejaculations, Sarah Palin, the tundra termagant, decreed that a number of sitting Republican US senators shall soon have their heads cut off at the ballot box.

This fate they shall suffer because the witless Panzer Powder aficionado, and her confederates, have determined senior senator, south carolinathat said men are insufficiently committed to the complete and total destruction of the United States, in the name of Getting The Black Man.

One of the termagant’s targets was identified as Lindsey Graham, senior senator from the Confederate state of South Carolina.

Graham has long frenzied the nightriders galloping at the outer edges of the GOoPer herd of the unsane. This is first because he is a closeted gay man. And second because he is so often joined at the hip to John McCain. A loose cannon anathema to the nightriders, because he first primary-challenged once and future favorite son George II for the presidency (McCain’s campaign effectively scuttled right there in South Carolina, when Rove & Co let it be known (falsely) that McCain had fathered a black child; though such is a South Carolina tradition, see Strom Thurmond, it is one that is supposed to remain delicately concealed until after the white rapist’s death). And then, when McCain had his own shot at the presidency, he refused to center his campaign around the fact that his opponent was black, and therefore an unacceptable existential threat to all that is Good and Godly.

Graham periodically attempts to woo the nightriders by dragging his knuckles right down to the ground. Such as his July 2013 scratching and hooting that the United States should boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, because of “what the Russian government is doing throughout the world.”

And so, within hours of Palin recently mustering the riders, Graham was flapping across all the televisions and tubes in the land, thundering that he shall not allow the black man to appoint anyone to a job in the federal government until he, Graham, “gets some answers on Benghazi.”

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It Burns

Someone I Know, she works with a woman who draws a paycheck for pretty much nothing more than babbling ceaselessly, senselessly, uncontrollably; occasionally spinning her head round 360 degrees; now and then erupting into Tourette’s-like cursing at all and sundry.

This woman, she is like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Except she does not koolprojectile-vomit green bile, or plunge a crucifix in and out of her vagina. At least not publicly.

With Halloween coming on, I suggested to the Someone I Know that she festoon her office with this wonderment, identified by the descriptive-dullards at eBay as “Halloween Animated Exorcist Spinning Head Linda Blair Sounds Decoration Prop,” and presented to you-all there in the image to the right. The thing, its “head rotates 360 degrees, the eyes light up and the mouth moves,” it “plays (6) audio tracks and the Exorcist theme from the movie,” and “spoken phrases include ‘it burns'; ‘keep away, the sow is mine'; and ‘I can’t sleep, my bed is shaking.'”

But the Someone I Know, she demurred, reasoning that bringing the outre object into the office—it would just encourage her coworker, to further rotate her head, and spew stupidness across the land.

Oh well. I tried.

Tonight, I am trying again.

Having witnessed this day Secretary of State John Kerry—he of the once and future “how do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”—rotate his head and spit green bile and slide a crucifix in and out of his urethra, as he ululated screamingly about Bad Chemicals in Syria.

Even as Foreign Policy printed a timely piece about how, back in the day, the United States of Reaganoids were only too happy to assist Iraq, in hosing down brown people, with chemical agents.

Even as the US was blearily emerging from a week which witnessed the conclusion of a dizzying confluence of legal proceedings in re one of the more recent American imperial adventurings in “how do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

Wherein first Chelsea Manning received 35 years, for telling the truth; though, telling, wasn’t it, that what it isthere was an acquittal, on the charge involving the release of the war-crime video of an airstrike on Afghan civilians.

Then the driven-mad Fort Hood psychiatrist, who would rather mass-kill, than be deployed to Afghanistan, convicted on something like eleventy-billion murder and attempted-murder charges.

Finally, there was the hoorah, he who cut a deal whereby he would escape the death penalty by saying “I’m sorry” for shooting up an Afghan village. Apparently, this man, he was “bummed,” he was “stressed,” about “personal problems.” News to me, and to many, that murdering Afghans is a recognized outlet for relieving stress and ameliorating bummedness.

Meanwhile Sean Klannity, there on the radio, was yammering today, in re Syria, about “therapeutic bombing.”

At first, I assumed he was joking. I mean, I know the language is going straight to Hell. But there must be some limits. No one could seriously employ a term like “therapeutic bombing.”

But no. I was wrong. Klannity, he is on it, and he is for it.

I shut him off. For there is no such thing as “therapeutic bombing.” Not in my universe.
So I’m thinking: maybe there should be a variation on the Linda Blair-head thing.
Where, instead of her whirling round and burbling things like “leave her alone, the sow is mine,” or “I can’t sleep, my bed is shaking,” one could have a hate-radio or politician head, that spins round, and round, and round, and meanwhile upchucks bile like “we must therapeutically bomb to protect the homeland!,” “travel internationally only when wrapped in plastic and sealed with duct-tape!” or “danger! danger! scary brown people!”
Just a thought.
Here in the brave new world.

Sign Of A Local Nigger Unravelin’

Michelangelo was a sculptor. That’s all of who he was. The rich rat bastards, they kept paying him for paintings—he didn’t want to paint, but painting was where the money was. So, he painted.

A sculptor—what he really was—involved selecting and regarding a block of marble. Seeing what it was meant to be. Knowing the interior. The finished let the slaveglowing being. Then, having to go, through time and effort and time, the tiresome endless work, of bringing out what was already there. The already happened.

Chisel.

Chip.

Chip. Chip. Chip.

In the last decades of his life, Michelangelo approached marble, chipped away for a time, then stood back, saying he was finished.

No one, at the time, could see how he could possibly say that he was the least bit finished.

To this day, people do not understand what he meant. By “finished.”

His, here, is an avenue of art, that no one, over the past umpteen-hundred years, has pursued. Because it appears to be nothing but “unfinished.” Like, maybe, probably, he just gave up.

Bollocks. This is the man who had already used chisel and stone to depict the most precise and divine representations of human beings in the entire history of sculpture. Before, or since.

So, when he moved elsewhere, people should have paid attention.

But they didn’t. And they still don’t.

The “unfinished” Michelangelo pictured above is called “Awakening Slave.” From the title alone, it should be obvious, to anyone employing brain cells, that it is absolutely right, that the slave is unable to fully emerge from the marble. Michelangelo’s choice, here, was absolutely right.

He said that the marble spoke to him. And, when it said, stop carving, he stopped.

True artists don’t listen to the bullshit. They listen to the art.

Writing is like regarding a block of marble. The task is to chip away the bullshit, the effluvia, the waste, revealing, relating, only what is.

That is why, when I was 16, and first regarded the “unfinished” sculptures of Michelangelo, I knew exactly what they were about. He had gone beyond the mere perfection of form. To regarding, and representing, perfection attempting to emerge, yet held back, by the muck.

Now that I am older, I see a second reason why he went with the “unfinished.” Because, for decades, he’d put it all out there, in the way that they wanted to see it. Yet, they still didn’t get it. So: fuck ‘em. Go with the quantum. The finished/unfinished. The way it really is.

So, uh, this piece, that follows, I had grand finished plans for the thing, some weeks ago, when I wanted to both Snowden, and Zimmerman. I was first concerned about those in my karass so hurt by the Zimmerman verdict. And, next, those, also in my karass, so wounded by the Snowden revelations. Unfortunately, I don’t think I ever got around to serving, in what I have here written, completely, either. Much less both. The piece is unfinished. But I’ve decided to put it out there anyway. In hopes people can regard what is there, and see also into the marble. To what was meant to be. To what is.

(for robin and denise and amazing and adept and time and sephius and conk and tree and trayvon and sooth and seeta and ms. turn-up-your-radio and my pooldar anacaona and she-be-hawaiian-feet and the far rambling planet and all whose skins and souls burn 24/7 with the lies of this nation . . . . ) 

The Snowden uproar has been driven mostly by white people.

In garment-rending frenzy, that maybe government folks, are ear-trumpeting their phone conversations, goggle-eyeing their email.

Like, checking them.

People of color have, generally, been less exercised. Because, from when they first become conscious in this country, in this culture, people of color naturally assume they are being allchecked. Watched. Listened to. Tracked. As a condition of their very lives. Because, everything about their lives, about their history, teaches them that they are.

(The exception was when the Bolivian president’s homeward-bound plane was forced to the ground: people of color, then, particularly south of the border, they for sure, then uproared, over that. Because it was, so humiliatingly, typical of their lives, their history. To wit: white people won’t believe them. Will naturally assume them of involvement in nefariousness. Will physically roust them. Whenever they feel like it. Even if the rousted is the president of a sovereign nation.

(So let it be written. So let it be done.

(Same as it ever was.)

What people of color in this country would like, it is something more basic than freedom from a government-snout snorting about in their email.

What they would like, is a guarantee of physical safety.

That, maybe, they can feel free, to, oh, say, walk to the store, and back again, without getting shot.

And what the Zimmerman verdict tells them is that, once again, this—this is a forlorn hope.

Because what the Zimmerman verdict tells people of color is: no, really, they can’t—still “not yet”—walk to the store and back, without fear of being shot.

And white people, they have no idea, what that means.

To live, day in, day out, every day, like that.

Knowing they might be killed. For just walking the streets.

As they continue to squeal. The white people. About a snout. Maybe in their email.

I received, in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict, an email from a person of color, who has succumbed to despair.

Says she:

A lot of what I came up believing, spouted ad nauseam by Jose Marti and Rev Dr. King? I am doubting any of it now. I don’t believe for a New York minute we shall overcome, or “not too long.” This seems like the weakest pabulum and fairy tale imaginable. It’s open season on people of color.

What can I say to her?

Nothing.

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Serial Killers Continue To Cry

The nation’s serial killers continue to weep openly because they are no longer permitted access to the entirety of the federal treasury.

The latest disgusting display occurred Tuesday, when John McHugh, Secretary of the Army division of the American death industry, kicked his high chair and threw his rattle during testimony before the Senate serial killer at workArmed Services Committee, outraged that some 100,000 serial killers may have to be discharged from the army over the next decade.

Good.

Although 100,000 is but a start, it is at least that.

The goal, of course, is to reduce the number of the nation’s serial killers to zero.

McHugh blubbered that the Army already planned to reduce its ranks from a current 570,000 serial killers to 490,000 serial killers, due to legislation approved by Congress in 2011.

Now, he wept, the sequester will require kicking loose an additional 100,000 serial killers.

The sequester is an automatic spending-reduction program that the Republicans in Congress refuse to reconsider because the president is black.

As has been observed here before, true anti-war people would embrace the death-industry portion of the sequester as a wondrous and unexpected gift. And, from there, work so that the sequestered funds will never, ever, under any circumstances, be returned to the serial killers. Work until the Already Happened has been achieved: the nation’s serial-killer budget reduced to $0.

However, as has also been observed here before, there do not seem to be any real true anti-war people in the United States.

Certainly I have heard no hosannas sent forth in appreciation of the truly wonderful news that emerged on Friday: that in the first quarter of 2013, “[d]efense spending fell rapidly again, contracting by 11.5 percent as compared with the previous quarter’s 22.1 percent contraction.”

This is nothing but Good. Death-industry spending must decline until it contributes not a cent to the nation’s GDP. For no decent, civilized people would what it iswish to make a single penny off of serial killers and all their worldkilling works.

The McHugh serial killer, though, that ain’t the way he sees it. He wept before Congress that “the budget cuts could threaten readiness levels on the Korean peninsula, where military forces remain on high alert after North Korea threatened to attack the United States and South Korea. Sequestration has forced the cancellation of a series of training exercises intended to help prepare soldiers for possible combat there, he said.”

Good. No sane human being wants American serial killers to be “prepare[d] for possible combat there.” Prepared for possible combat anywhere, but especially not in Korea. For United States serial killers have no business in that nation. They all need to come back to the US. To be discharged. So that they may pursue some truly useful employment. Like, say, manufacturing tinkertoys.

As has been observed here, many times, before, the Founders did not intend this country to maintain even a standing army. Which is why the Constitution specifically prohibits army appropriations of more than two years. And since the US is at peace with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, it does not need an army. So the army should be eliminated. As the only legitimate use for an air force is in support of ground troops, it should be eliminated as well. The Marines need to be folded back into the Navy, from whence they sprang; they are support troops for ships, that’s all they are; that they are sent to fight in landlocked countries, like Afghanistan, is madness. So: down the loo, they go. Since the US already possesses a Coast Guard, perfectly capable of patrolling the waters of the continental United States (Alaska and Hawaii are imperial possessions, and should be permitted to break free, as should all overseas territories, possessions, protectorates, and the like), Americans can go ahead and get rid of the Navy, too—Marines and all. Make a clean sweep.

No more serial killers. No more death industry.

Unless, devotee of Thanatos, this—hoorah, anchors aweigh, wild blue yonder, semper fi—is what you do like:

Drone Who Thou Wilt Is The Whole Of The Law

And so now the United States has determined that it is Vital and Necessary to establish and enforce tight and binding international Rules for the use of drones.

President Barack Obama, who vastly expanded U.S. drone strikes against terrorism suspects overseas under the cloak of secrecy, is now openly seeking to influence global guidelines for their use as China and other countries pursue their own o noez! chinese drones!drone programs.

The United States was the first to use unmanned air-craft fitted with missiles to kill militant suspects in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

But other countries are catching up. China’s interest in unmanned aerial vehicles was displayed in November at an air show. According to state-run newspaper Global Times, China had considered conducting its first drone strike to kill a suspect in the 2011 murder of 13 Chinese sailors, but authorities decided they wanted the man alive so they could put him on trial.

“People say what’s going to happen when the Chinese and the Russians get this technology? The president is well aware of those concerns and wants to set the standard for the international community on these tools,” said Tommy Vietor, until earlier this month a White House spokesman.

As U.S. ground wars end—over in Iraq, drawing to a close in Afghanistan—surgical counterterrorism targeting has become “the new normal,” Vietor said.

Amid a debate within the U.S. government, it is not yet clear what new standards governing targeted killings and drone strikes the White House will develop for U.S. operations or propose for global rules of the road.

Obama’s new position is not without irony. The White House kept details of drone operations—which remain largely classified—out of public view for years when the U.S. monopoly was airtight.

This is typical. One need only consider very recent history. Such as when the United States enjoyed a monopoly, or near-monopoly, in nuclear weapons, at which time it felt no need to establish any nuke rules at all.

And, indeed, that nation’s premier serial killers—a.k.a. “generals”—wished, and fervently urged, at various times, that there be nuke-rain-down-on-thee in Japan, the Soviet Union, Korea, China, Vietnam . . . even the freaking Moon.

They got their way, did the serial killers, in Japan. But never after. Nor, in their thereafter everafter lust to later nuke-rain the Soviet let's bombUnion (multiple times), Cuba, Afghanistan, etc., and on to the present day: Iran. Always, one of more civilians, tethered to the ball of sanity, have blocked them in their way.

Useful news, for those who perceive Reality through that glass-darkly straw in which the boys in the serial-killer blues forever get their way.

Anyway. Once humans not interned in the dirt-patch known as “the United States” began possessing nuclear weapons, suddenly a Great Flap swept across the American land, and it became at once Right and Meet that many and myriad Rules be established, to prevent non-‘Mericans from getting themselfs a nuke, or, worse, Wrongly using one.

This is why, these days, every time you look at the news, there is something about Iran or North Korea. Something where some American is leaping and shrieking and running around with his or her hair on fire. Because some humans in these countries—Iran or North Korea—may be thinking about getting theyselves a nuke. And the US, sitting on more nukes than Midas has gold, and still the only country ever to use one to wantonly and needlessly and insanely incinerate hundreds of thousands of people, says This Cannot Be.

Decree of the US being: “I got mine. None, is yours.”

Now, I guess, we must gird our loins to eternally recur through this same sort of nonsense with drones.

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Pick Your Poison

If you are a married American male, and your Clenis strays into a woman not your wife, you will be sentenced to trial by media, wherein anyone and everyone shall be invited and expected to Judge the ways and means of your private parts, and the various nerve impulses that guide them.

This, currently, the fate of ex-Gen. David Petraeus. As suspended now, is his life of bomb and shoot and strafe and slit, because his pee-pee popped off in a Wrong Place.

In other sectors of the planet, they approach such things differently. For instance, a member of the Taliban has instructed a reporter for AFP on the punishment that he and his lads deem proper for a mischievous pee-pee wielder like David Petraeus.

A stony-faced Taliban official burst into laughter at the mention of the Petraeus affair during an interview with AFP in northwest Pakistan this week.

“What a bastard! But all Americans are the same, it’s nothing new,” the official said, who did not want to be named.

“From a Pashtun point of view, Petraeus should be shot by relatives from his mistress’s family,” the Taliban official explained.

“From a sharia point of view, he should be stoned to death.”

Shot, stoned, flayed in the papers and compelled to hide in a hole: whatever.

Passing Easter Over

I tried to do my best, here in the Manor, to get with the season, in re Passover and Easter.

It’s true that I didn’t splash any lamb’s blood on my door.

But I did purchase and place a new doormat. Upon which Jesus could wipe the blood off his feet, if he happened to drop by.

Not that I expected him. Because I happened to know that Jesus last weekend was wallowing in roll-away-the-stone passion with a Minnesota siren, there in her abode of toast the savior warm, bouncing the bedsprings with thee.

Certainly there is nothing that I could offer him, that she was not then delivering.

I did bake some lamb’s blood. Oozing outta ground lamb, the essential ingredient in kofta, born of the Egyptians—the Passover connection, there—but these days most often munched by mountain-dwelling Afghans, a little sustenance before they commence to race down the hill to scream and shoot at dull-domed Americans, trying to convince them to get the hey out of their “country.”

You can find the recipe for this wonderment, as well as various assorted other Judeo-Christian heresies, beyond the “furthur.”

furthur=>

Logic Bomb

Like they said, he had an impressive career. Maybe too impressive. I mean: perfect. He was being groomed for one of the top slots in the corporation. General. Chief of staff. Anything.

—Apocalypse Now

Before David Petraeus could assume his most recent top slot in the corporation—that of Director of Central Intelligence—there must first commence the kabuki of confirmation hearings.

While generally hailed by the Examiners and the Limbaughs as “our most successful general in a generation,” “a general who’s turned around two wars, [] the most successful general of modern times,” Petraeus has in the past peeved such people with his perceived reluctance to run with the torture crowd.

Heretofore, Petraeus has been of the torture “turned around and bit[] us in the backside” school. Following the assassination of Osama bin Laden, fantasists—Rubio, Cornyn, DeMint, that crew—fanatically devoted to the delusion that torture had cracked open the secret of the dead man’s whereabouts, vowed to publicly drag their knuckles through the Petraeus hearings, hooting that the nominee must endorse employment of the prod and the generator and the bastinado, lest he face Trouble.

But, as it developed, it was a senator from the Democratic branch of the corporation, Mark Udall, who broached the subject. Asking the soon-to-be spook-chief: “do you see torture any differently in a CIA context than in a military context?”

Well, as it happens, Petraeus does. Seems he is now deeply concerned with the following hallucination: a “special situation” involving an “individual in your hands who you know has placed a nuclear device under the Empire State Building. It goes off in 30 minutes, he has the codes to turn it off.” And so, said Petraeus, he would like Congress to fashion a Law, one that will guarantee that any of his new charges who fall into such a hallucination, and therein begin wailing on people, will be Protected.

So. It has come to this. The new Director of Central Intelligence wants enshrined into law a figment. Fiction from television. Pixels. Vapor. Something that does not now, never will, never can exist.

Seeing what isn’t there, it really pays these days, at least for some people. Thursday the Senate voted 94-0 to promote Petraeus to his new top slot in the corporation.

furthur=>

Feel Like Goin’ Home

The surge to retain the surge in Afghanistan has begun.

Friday morning the Wall Street Journal reported that the nation’s military “is asking President Barack Obama to hold off on ending the Afghanistan troop surge until the fall of 2012, in a proposal that would keep a large portion of the 33,000 extra forces in the country through the next two warm-weather fighting seasons.”

From the Journal jumping to Fox Radio “News,” where all day yesterday, every hour on the hour, blared word that the generals had decreed that any deflation of the “surge” would Imperil The Nation. The president, it was commanded, must, as was said back in Reagantime, “stay the corpse.”

No. I don’t think so.

Obama knew these people would do this. In the fall of 2009 he rejected the Kerry/Biden wisdom, which pronounced Afghanistan “Chaosistan,” and proposed confining American involvement there to spies, special forces units, and drones, all targeted solely on elements of Al Qaeda. Obama instead acceded to the demands of his generals, who wanted more bodies.

However, there was a caveat. Although he would give them the bodies, the generals would need to succeed with those bodies by July of 2011, because on that date he would begin to bring the bodies home.

And Obama extracted a promise, from the people with stars on their shoulders: that they could and would do what they said needed to be done by July of 2011, and would not instead wait until that date to come crying to him that they needed more time with more bodies.

Then, Obama and his people leaked details of that promise. Twice. To Jonathan Alter for The Promise, and Bob Woodward for Obama’s Wars.

Now that the gunmen are doing what they promised they wouldn’t do, Obama can, and should, say: “Nope. You said you wouldn’t do this. Yet you’re standing here doing it. Too bad. Too late. In Afghanistan, I feel like goin’ home.”

furthur=>

Can’t Get No

After this world war, the United States and the USSR may unquestionably emerge unhurt when all other nations are devastated. I can imagine, therefore, that our country, which is placed between these two giants, may face great hardships. However, there is no need for despair. When these two lose the competition of other countries in their respective vicinities, they will grow careless and corrupt. We will simply have to sleep in the woodshed and eat bitter fruits for a few decades. Then when we have refurbished our manliness inside and out, we may still achieve a favorable result.

—Lord Koichi Kido, to Emperor Hirohito of Japan, December 3, 1940

Isoroku Yamamoto was a gambler. Though cards, and other games that matched him against fellow human beings, were too often too easy for him; shortly after he learned poker, while attending Harvard, he thoroughly cleaned out his classmates.

So roulette was his game. Like most who have become truly entranced by the wheel, Yamamoto understood that it was there that one may best flickeringly apprehend the ineffable laws of chance, and, maybe, occasionally, fleetingly, ride them. Aboard the wheel, Yamamoto became one of the few people ever to “break the bank at Monte Carlo”: that is, he won more chips than were present at the table, requiring that a black shroud be thrown over the whole works until replacement chips could be summoned. Yamamoto often mused aloud that he would like one day to quit his day job, and open his own casino.

Yamamoto was also a conjurer, adept in feats of magic. His speciality was making things disappear. At a White House dinner in December of 1929, he enchanted down-table aides to President Herbert Hoover by vanishing coins and matchsticks.

In December of 1941, Yamamoto successfully vanished an entire fleet. One moment the ships were in port, there in Japan; the next moment, they were gone. Reappearing some days later, unobserved, off the coast of Hawaii. From this disappeared fleet, was launched the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As a gambler, Yamamoto didn’t think much of his country’s imperial adventurings. He pronounced the invasion of China doomed: too much land, too many people. He likewise predicted failure for any Japanese war on the United States: too much wealth, too many resources. While traveling in the States, Yamamoto had passed through oil country in Texas, and there observed in one field more oil than was present in all of Japan. War runs on oil. Japan didn’t have any. Once the US and its allies ceased shipping oil to Japan, the taps ran dry. By December 7, 1941, many of the private vehicles in Japan still on the road were running on charcoal.

But although he thought it a mistake, Yamamoto, at his emperor’s command, devised the plan of attack on Pearl Harbor. And when that attack was over, it was Yamamoto who in the States was made to shoulder much of the blame: the nasty little arch-fiend of a sneak who perpetrated the “day that will live in infamy.”

And thus it was that, in April of 1943, Yamamoto’s spirit disappeared from his body. Departing through a bullet hole in his head, drilled there at the personal command of President Franklin Roosevelt, who had ordered Yamamoto’s assassination. In “Operation Vengeance.” America much more honest and direct, then, in its operational code names.

furthur=>

You’re Looking At The Heads

The heads. You’re looking at the heads. Sometimes he goes too far.

—Apocalypse Now

In January of 2007 I was pretty rough on the Germans, when reports emerged that German troops in Afghanistan had festooned their vehicles with Nazi emblems, mounted skulls on the hoods of their patrol vehicles, pressed their weapons to the heads of Afghan boys to laughingly enact “mock executions,” and photographed one among them extending his penis towards the opened jaw of a human skull.

This skull the Germans apparently snatched from an area where Afghan villagers obtained their clay, and with it they had quite the party—playing with it, posing with it, photographing one another in skull-fondling frolic. Those soldiers who declined to engage in skullfucking were reportedly excoriated as “wimps”; the practice justified on the ground that “it’s hard on the nerves when you’re constantly confronted with people from your own army or the allies getting hurt or dying.”

I later opined that “all this confirm[s] the sense of Normal People that Germans in uniform should not be allowed beyond their own country’s borders for, oh, another 1000 years or so.”

Now, one of the publications that broke the story of the German skullfucking, Der Spiegel, has published photographs that American soldiers in Afghanistan snapped of themselves, posing with the bodies of civilians they had deliberately killed. Although the publication printed but three of these pictures, it is said that, with the typical American penchant for excess, these louts compiled and kept more that 4000 war-porn stills and videos: there are “also entire collections of pictures of other victims that some of the defendants were keeping.”

furthur=>

Just Give Me Some Twoof

We seem to be in the midst of a mini-epidemic of people getting pilloried for saying things that are true.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been fingered by the wingers as an al Qaeda operative for accurately assessing the appeal of Al Jazeera. Clinton’s now-former spokesman PJ Crowley has been shown the door for rightfully decrying the government’s treatment of accused Wikileaker Bradley Manning. The soon-to-be-former National Public Radio executive Ron Schiller has been pronounced anathema for correctly characterizing the nation’s teabaggers. And New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller is under siege for aptly describing Fox News.

It’s not like this sort of thing hasn’t happened before. Cassandra was mocked and eventually chopped for Knowing All and talking about it. Jesus of Nazareth was nailed out to dry for unpalatable utterings in re church and state. Giordano Bruno was burnt black for apprehending the faith better than did his firestarters. And Galileo Galilei was threatened with same unless he left off his nonsense about the Earth revolving around the Sun.

Just goes to show that, now as then, people may say they want the truth, but, in many cases, many people really don’t. Truth, in this world, well, it just isn’t done.

furthur=>

We See You

I occasionally grouse, here in my dotage, that, because I am in my dotage, I am living through the truth expressed by Arthur Schopenhauer, when he wrote:

Whoever lives two or three generations, feels like the spectator who, during the fair, sees the performances of all kinds of jugglers and, if he remains seated in the booth, sees them repeated two or three times. As the tricks were meant only for one performance, they no longer make any impression after the illusion and novelty have vanished.

Most recently I invoked this Schopenhauer in noting that in Afghanistan the Bomb Men are rerunning the Vietnam-era Hellerian absurdity of “it became necessary to destroy the town to save it,” and while observing that the racists and related ignoranti who flock to smoothbrains like Sarah Palin are indistinguishable—down to the very words they commonly employ—from the knuckle-draggers who once hooted their approval of George Wallace.

Of late I am noticing a somewhat related phenomenon. And that is that They are working like twelve bastards to bring into Real Life various and sundry Horrors that I encountered, when once a wee youth, only as science fiction.

To wit: the skies will soon be filled with demonic winged mechanical devices that will see and report on anything I might say or do, a la the fever-dream imaginings of Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick. And they’ll be watching and reporting on you, too.

furthur=>

It Is Happening Again . . . Again

One boy’s eyes lay gently closed, and his long dark lashes were washed in tears, as though he had cried himself to sleep. As they bent over him they saw that he was very young, and a breeze came up from the edges of the swamp, bearing with it a scorched odor of smoke and powder, and touched the edges of his hair. A lock fell across his brow with a sort of gawky, tousled grace, as if preserving even in that blank and mindless repose some gesture proper to his years, a callow charm. Around his curly head grasshoppers darted among the weeds. Below, beneath the slumbering eyes, his face had been blasted out of sight. Culver looked up and met Mannix’s gaze. The Captain was sobbing helplessly. He cast an agonized look toward the Colonel, standing across the field, then down again at the boy, then at Culver. “Won’t they ever let us alone, the sons of bitches,” he murmured, weeping. “Won’t they ever let us alone?”

—William Styron, The Long March

So. I suppose we can leap aboard the great wheel at the time of the French misadventure in Vietnam. From which the Americans determinedly learned nothing. And so walked, eyes wide shut, into Southeast Asia, and their own prolonged Dien Bien Phu. Then came the Russians. Who belatedly admitted they had not learned from the American experience in Vietnam. And so went down in the dust of Afghanistan. Now, eternally recurring, the Americans. Again. In Afghanistan this time. Not learning from their own experience in Vietnam. And not learning from the Russians not learning in Afghanistan.

On February 7, 1968, an American major told AP’s Peter Arnett, in speaking of the decision to bomb and shell unto rubble the Vietnamese town of Ben Tre, “it became necessary to destroy the town to save it.”

The U.S. military’s official explanation of why “it became necessary to destroy the town” is that it had been infiltrated by thousands of Viet Cong. Thus, their rationale went, trying to oust the VC in ground-level fighting, from street to street, would have caused a high number of American casualties and even more civilian casualties.

This month, in defending the October 2010 decision to bomb and shell and obliterate from the face of the earth (as seen in the photos above) the Afghan village of Tarok Kalache—damned as an alleged snake’s nest of Taliban sympathizers and booby-traps—American and Afghan officials have variously stated that “there was no other way,” “it was the only way I could give the men confidence to go back out,” that “the only way” to “not ‘lose momentum‘ was just to bomb the hell out of it,” and “we had to destroy them to make them safe.”

On and on and on it goes. To these eyes, getting pretty old. As Arthur Schopenhauer observed: “Whoever lives two or three generations, feels like the spectator who, during the fair, sees the performances of all kinds of jugglers and, if he remains seated in the booth, sees them repeated two or three times. As the tricks were meant only for one performance, they no longer make any impression after the illusion and novelty have vanished.”

furthur=>

He’s Not There

Here in the First World, we acquiesce to lives in which it is virtually impossible to get away from ourselves: enchained by birth certificates, social-security numbers, driver’s licenses, tax records, credit histories, martial and marital documents, bank accounts, fingerprints, thumbprints, blood-typing, DNA samples, retina scans—the list is endless. I personally am not happy with much of this: like the doomed cowboy in Lonely Are The Brave, “I don’t need a card to figure out who I am. I already know.”

So one of my reactions to the following story is pleasure in knowing that there are still places on this earth where people exist independently of paper and pixels and purloined pieces of their bodies.

Another reaction is that I probably really shouldn’t have become locked into referring to members of our nation’s intelligence community as “Clouseaus.” Because, now, every day, in every way, they are living up to this name, better and better.

Today, for instance, we learn, via Mean People at the New York Times, that for months and months Afghan notables and American poohbahs have been jawing with senior Taliban official Mullah Akhtar Muhammed Mansour, believed to be #2 to the fabled Mullah Omar hisself. This Mansour has been gifted with great wads of American money in “traveling expenses,” and has raised high the roofbeams that Peace Is At Hand, because his demands have been so modest—”that the Taliban leadership be allowed to safely return to Afghanistan, that Taliban soldiers be offered jobs, and that prisoners be released.” He did not, for instance, “demand, as the Taliban have in the past, a withdrawal of foreign forces or a Taliban share of the government.”

Alas, all good things must come to an end. This, then, too. For now it has been determined that this Mullah Mansour, is not Mullah Mansour at all.

“It’s not him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions. “And we gave him a lot of money.”

American officials confirmed Monday that they had given up hope that the Afghan was Mr. Mansour, or even a member of the Taliban leadership.

Yet, like jilted lovers who cannot grasp what has happened to them, some of the duped and deluded are hoping the non-Mansour will keep on a-comin’.

Neither American nor Afghan leaders confronted the fake Mullah Mansour with their doubts. Indeed, some Afghan leaders are still holding out hopes that the man really is or at least represents Mr. Mansour—and that he will come back soon.

“Questions have been raised about him, but it’s still possible that it’s him,” said the Afghan leader who declined to be identified.

A more cynical Afghan believes the non-Mansour was probably a knee-slapper sent by the Taliban, who “are playing games.”

“The Taliban are cleverer than the Americans and our own intelligence service,” said a senior Afghan official who is familiar with the case.

Duh.

furthur=>

We Have All Been Here Before

The windows overlooking the airfield were smoked and double glazed. On the runway aircraft landed and took off without making a sound. This is how they tried to win, Jerry thought: from inside sound-proof rooms, through smoked glass, using machines at arm’s length. This is how they lost.

—John Le Carre, The Honourable Schoolboy

The government of Pakistan has refused the US military permission to expand its drone show into Baluchistan province. It is believed that this is where the Afghan Taliban leadership—including the fabled Mullah Omar—today gathers, in and around the densely populated city of Quetta.

Though the drone blunderbuss is now extinguishing the lives of 98 innocents for every 2 jihadis killed, US knuckleheads apparently thought it a good idea to start sending the things over an area occupied by nearly a million civilians.

Pakistan said forget it. It has instead offered to permit an increased CIA presence in the region, with US Clouseaus yoked to teams of agents from the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service. That should work out well, since it is the ISI that protects and promotes the Taliban; the ISI has a history of bamboozling the CIA into lending its agents and equipment to operations that facilitate the ISI’s own, very selfish ends. “They are so innocent,” a Pakistani official has said fondly of US spooks.

Meanwhile, out in the badlands of North Waziristan, a semi-autonomous “tribal region” where the US is tacitly permitted by the Pakistani government to fly drones, those Al Qaeda homeboys known as the Haqqani are getting out of the way of the aircraft by elbowing into the neighboring high-mountain region of Kurram.

Flying drones over Kurram is apparently not an option. “It would mean big trouble between the two countries,” says Pakistani journalist/analyst Imtiaz Gul. “It would amount to a lot of friction.”

The Haqqani are bad dudes: they brought suicide bombings to Afghanistan, nearly succeeded in assassinating Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008, and last May took on the heavily fortified Bagram airfield near Kabul. And like the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani are friends and fellows of the ISI, which has allowed the Haqqani to use North Waziristan, and “regards the Haqqani group as a valuable hedge against Indian influence in a post-U.S. Afghanistan” (see: India again).

The Pakistani military has long promised to move into North Waziristan to sweep out such riffraff, and has even pocketed a $2 billion bribe from the US to do so. But, like General Tommy Franks in Operation Iraqi Fiefdom, it has insisted on the right to “close with and engage the enemy at a time and place of our choosing.”

“I think they’ll start the operation,” opines tribal-region analyst Khadim Hussain, “once every single fighter has moved out of North Waziristan and into Kurram.”

furthur=>

Behind Closed Doors

Like secret lovers traveling for a tryst, heads of state venturing abroad must ofttimes squirt squid-ink to conceal the true purpose of a journey. And so it was recently with President Barack Obama’s sojourn to India. Few have divined the motive force propelling him to that nation: “extensive discussion with Indian leaders on the challenges being faced in Afghanistan.”

As I discussed here, Pakistan considers any Indian involvement in Afghanistan as a form of encirclement. Many in Pakistan are convinced that India wishes to swallow their nation, and seeks influence in Afghanistan as a means by which to do so. As detailed in the afore-embedded link, ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service, in January of this year deliberately sabotaged peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai, arresting some 24 Taliban leaders under Pakistani protection because “[w]e are not going to allow the [Taliban] to make a deal with Karzai and the Indians.” In the world that is real, the Indians did not seem to be involved in these talks. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Pakistanis believed that they were.

Obama has repeatedly stated that the US will begin withdrawing combat troops from Afghanistan beginning in July of next year. As is set out beyond the “furthur,” there is reason to believe that he will stick to this timetable. The mess the US leaves behind in Afghanistan will be, uh, less messy, if Pakistan can be convinced to eschew enabling the most grotesque elements of the Taliban. Pakistan supports these cretins primarily because it believes such support is necessary in order to frustrate real or imagined Indian hegemony. Thus, Obama’s “extensive discussion with Indian leaders on the challenges begin faced in Afghanistan.”

furthur=>

In Country

(I posted this three years ago for Veterans Day over on the Great Pumpkin. I post it here, in a somewhat different form, for this Veterans Day.

(This one’s for possum.)

Today marks the 28th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the finest piece of public art in the history of this country. The vision of a haunted ex-Army infantryman, realized by a 21-year-old Asian refugee, The Wall has become a place of pilgrimage, a secular shrine, something unprecedented, unrivaled in our country. Tens of millions of people have brought hundreds of thousands of mementos, gifts, talismans, offerings to The Wall.

Among them, this letter:

Dear Nick:

The little baby you never saw turned 17 in August. She looks like Scotty now; she used to look like you when she was younger.

This was all such a waste. Maybe your sacrifice means this won’t happen again.

Dan

Oh, vain hope. Not to be, not to be . . . .

furthur=>

“They Can Not Surrender To Aircraft”

Leamas saw. He saw the long road outside Rotterdam, the long straight road beside the dunes, and the stream of refugees moving along it; saw the little airplane miles away, the procession stop and look toward it; and the plane coming in, neatly over the dunes; saw the chaos, the meaningless hell, as the bombs hit the road.

—John Le Carre, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

As I mentioned here, the Wikileaks release of documents pertaining to Afghanistan held no surprises for those who have attentively followed Operation Enduring Fiefdom. Similarly, the more recent Wikileaks release of documents pertaining to Iraq holds no surprises for those who have attentively followed Operation Iraqi Fiefdom.

Still, Wikileaks is to be commended for making these documents public, and those who leaked them are to be commended for doing so. In the world to come, these last will deserve some sort of medal.

I find that what has struck me most, so far, is something that was not even in the Iraqi document dump itself, but instead a paragraph closing a New York Times piece regarding the release. To wit:

Civilians have borne the brunt of modern warfare, with 10 civilians dying for every soldier in wars fought since the mid-20th century, compared with 9 soldiers killed for every civilian in World War I, according to a 2001 study by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The trench warfare of World War I remains the zenith—or, more properly, the nadir—of militarized madness, in the sense that day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, men were ordered to run across open ground directly into machine-gun fire. This continued until a sufficient number of men in both the French and German armies walked away and went home: they simply would no longer put up with such mad shit.

But now we must confront the fact that WWI seems, in another sense, to have marked a sort of high-water mark of non-barbarism. Because at least most of the people who were killed in that war signed up to die in it. Nowadays, by a ratio of 10-1, those whose lives are snuffed out in war are innocents.

furthur=>

Canadian Driftwood

The War on Terra prisoner Omar Khadr has entered into a plea deal that may find him breathing free air in a little over a year.

Under what are believed to be the terms of the plea bargain, Khadr, after an additional year in American stir, could apply to his native Canada to have the remainder of his eight-year sentence served in that country. Once under Canadian authority, that government could, if it liked, free him. Canada, unlike the United States, is not in the business of prosecuting and imprisoning child soldiers. Khadr was 15 when he entered the War on Terra gulag. He has already spent eight years there. He is today 24.

On Monday, Khadr admitted before a military commission that he had thrown a grenade that killed an American soldier in Afghanistan, and that he had planted roadside bombs in that country for Al Qaeda. A panel of seven military officers will decide on his sentence, but under the terms of the plea agreement that sentence cannot be greater than the eight years therein agreed upon.

The plea deal spares Khadr the prospect of a life sentence, and the Obama administration the embarrassment of trying a child as its first War on Terra prisoner dragged before its revamped military commissions . . . as well as the near-certainty that any conviction would be thrown out bodily by one or more blistering appellate-court decisions, that would employ language so excoriating that anyone even tangentially connected with Khadr’s prosecution would be compelled to hide, for some months, under a bed, in shame.

furthur=>


When I Worked

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