28 February 2007


Via Raw Story, which I briefly tripped upon while over-dosing on coffee this morning:

Pentagon's number two suggests terror war will end in Oct. 2008

The Department of Defense's number two official appears to imply in a memo that the Global War on Terrorism will end just in time for the presidential election in November 2008. The contents of the document are outlined in a column in today's Washington Post.

Al Kamen, who writes the Post's 'In The Loop' column, identified a pair of memos written by Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England in today's paper. The first memo was written Dec. 6 and sent to top military and civilian officials. It identifies eight priorities for the coming fiscal year, and the first of them is to "Win the Global War on Terrorism."

In a second memo from Feb. 15, Kamen reports that England wrote that "to ensure that warfighters and taxpayers receive maximum benefit from on-going initiatives, it would be highly desirable to complete current projects by the summer/fall of 2008."

England then provides a quarterly grid with the same eight priorities from the December memo, and "expected milestone conclusion dates" for each one.

As Kamen points out, the first priority of winning the global terror war from the earlier memo is included on the grid, and "looks to be over around October 2008."

The next presidential election will occur in November 2008, a month later.

Kamen's full column can be accessed at the Washington Post's website.

The world isn't spinning into the cosmic shitter after all, it seems.

23 February 2007


How did we get to this place?

It’s a question that often flutters across the jumbled landscape of my conscious mind, or what passes for a conscious mind. I’m sure it occurs to most thinking people, at various times and in widely divergent levels of piquancy. How did we get to this place? What a question -- it completely beggars an answer.

I caught just a few glimpses too many of the most recent elitist pissing contest involving Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and the question above comes hurling back and washes over my battered skull like a new and improved migraine, this time appended to a further query: Who the fuck are these two artificial, political-machine creatures kidding? I mean, seriously. Such an infantile spectacle, a vile cabaret, a phony made-for-TV time-sucker, all designed by big-money DLC-types to both distract the unwashed masses and provide mountains of raw meat for the sub-human propagandist scum at Fox and elsewhere. So, while overpriced douchebags like David Geffen compete to see which Vichy Democrat can be most thoroughly compromised and co-opted and suffocated in the stale commodiousness of his deep corporate pockets, the Neo-Con machine continues its relentless rampage of death, undeterred and smirking broadly. The repugs stay on message, while alleged “Democrats” stick to their role of ineffectual, self-serving bozos -- solidifying the crucial, and perhaps decisive, part they’re playing in the systematic dismantling of representative government in this pathetic excuse for a country. Unbelievable.

All I’ll say further about this bullshit: assuming that there’ll even be something like a legitimate election a year and a half from now, and assuming also that Clinton or Obama actually contrive to win it, what do you suppose will be the real and true significance of such an unlikely occurrence? The first woman dictator of the United States? How about the first ever African-American despot? Because sure as George W. Bush is the stupidest sock-puppet to ever illegally squat in the sickeningly debased office of the Presidency, if he and his regime aren’t swiftly removed (like yesterday) and the imperial precedents he’s set permanently squashed, that’s precisely what will happen -- the continuation of this disaster, only with a new figurehead fuehrer. Think on that the next time a manufactured story of unabashed political whoring is pounded over your heads, which shouldn’t be too long in coming.

How did we get to this place?

18 February 2007


The impenetrable mystery at the center of all life -- that vast, incomprehensibly cheesy wad of existential jello that controls all things, even -- has seen fit to ever so slightly relax the physiological c-clamp of pain that’s been squeezing the piss out of my fat and ugly head lately. Given a day-pass to the land of the living, I pant in exhausted relief and try to remember where I was when last I visited this appallingly seedy waste of time and energy.

Ah yes -- the evil disease of “private military contractors.” Actually, in a forlorn effort to inject at least a smidgen of comic relief into so revolting a topic, I decided to throw away valuable seconds by visiting the website of arguably the most notoriously vile of these parasitical corporate vermin, Blackwater USA. It isn’t meant to be intentionally hilarious, I suppose, nor is it particularly surprising just how the ambulatory chunks of human waste at Blackwater describe their “vision”:

To support security, peace, freedom, and democracy everywhere.

Some things are so opaquely ridiculous, so patently insane, such premier examples of cognitive bastardization, that caustic remarks and pithy commentaries are superfluous at best. The gobbledygook above is a perfect illustration. I guess it’s theoretically possible that there might be a sub-genius (or two) somewhere in the dim bowels of Blackwater who actually believes that this criminally sick gang of corporate thugs has anything to do with “peace, freedom, and democracy” -- presumably in such purported bastions of “democracy” and “freedom” as Iraq or Afghanistan. Or New Orleans. However, the conscious cynicism necessary to the dissemination of these sorts of laughable fictions makes me wonder. I mean, as disgusting and despicable as the alleged “people” at Blackwater are, it’s an unreasonable stretch to imagine that they’re so stupid as to take their own public-relations flackery seriously. But, of course, their bald-faced bullshit is for our consumption, not theirs. Duh.

Whatever. Anyway, it actually gets worse, if that were possible. Blackwater describes its “mission”:

To support national and international security policies that protect those who are defenseless and provide a free voice for all with a dedication to providing ethical, efficient, and effective turnkey solutions that positively impact the lives of those still caught in desperate times.

Blackwater is committed to the foot soldiers -- the men and women who stand on the frontlines of the global war on terror and who believe in a peaceful future for their communities and nations. Whether serving in or out of uniform, Blackwater is committed to providing these men and women with the best in training and tactical support to ensure they are fully prepared to meet current and future global security challenges.

And if you believe such unadulterated hogsnot, more power to you; grotesque images of barbecued Blackwater employees in Iraq instantly, if involuntarily, spring to mind.

Where do “firms” like Blackwater come from? I’m not trying to be cute here, tossing out disingenuous questions that have a multitude of potential, and uninformative, answers -- I’d really like to know what evil genius first “midwifed” this cross-eyed bastard offspring of corporate money and military power. Now, I realize that the corporate world has always been the main beneficiary of the more-or-less war economy we’ve suffered under since at least the late 1940’s, as both the prime concocter of largely mythical “threats” and the recipient of nearly incalculable governmental largess in an effort to “meet” these “threats”; deriving profit from war, or, at most, the idea of war, is an age-old American tradition, grown to new heights of extent and sophistication over the past 50 or 60 years. The difference these days is the corporate incursion into the military’s traditional “front-end,” in a manner of speaking, the overt assumption of military functions and responsibilities by profit-motivated private companies. No longer content with merely amassing enormous wealth by purveying the implements and machinery of death and destruction, now there’s this insane hankering to actually wield the weaponry themselves. For profit.

The privatization of conflict, this fateful injection of financial incentives into the actual waging of war -- not simply within the economic apparatus that makes war possible -- is probably the number one thing about this shoddy Neo-Con era that really curdles my gizzard, which is certainly saying a dripping gobfull. Consequently, the regime will hardly be dissuaded from their quest to establish war as a permanent condition (a Democratically-controlled Congress? Oh, please), so long as it’s profitable to do so. Destroying the profit motive would be a decent first step; dismantling Blackwater and other like-minded vulturine corporations would be even better. Removing Bush and Cheney from the offices in which they’ve been squatting for more than six fucking years would, naturlich, be the best course of all.

Oh, if only I could trip back to my Cold War Germany Air Force days, where we used to laugh so rudely at the commercials on Armed Forces Television which informed us that we -- the grunts, chumps, and hoseheads stationed in Europe -- were at “the tip of the sword,” the brave defenders of western civilization. The claptrap then seemed, well, more simple somehow ...

07 February 2007


The moderately calm trough between migraines finds me thinking -- in addition to realizing that it’s a rather interesting sensation not to be in pain -- about military matters, of all things. I have to say that at least during these moments of relative clarity, when my skull isn’t being shredded from the inside by some inexplicable biological can opener, I can be as calm and dispassionate about such topics as the next person. Well, perhaps “calm” and “dispassionate” are misnomers or mischaracterizations, but whatever. I can manipulate a computer keyboard when my head isn’t exploding, in any event.

Of course, giving thought to the military, and the over-militarized course down which we’re being so relentlessly goaded, runs the risk of re-igniting the seemingly terminal brain-ache that’s been keeping me company these days. Oh well.

Like most normal people, I have a nearly endless catalog of reasons to despise the military, and militarism in general; that being said, let me confuse the issue by pointing out that I am, myself, a veteran of the American war machine -- in this case, the United States Air Force, within which I was an active-duty firefighter during the second half of the 1980’s. This wouldn’t be of any real importance to anyone, I’m sure. I hardly give two shits about it myself, except for the fact that the very conscious decision not to take the GI career path (I would’ve retired toward the end of 2005) spared me a whole slew of insurmountable problems, not the least of which being the advent of the Chimpy regime and the snowballing series of catastrophes it has fostered and engineered. So, much like generations of poor dumb saps before (and after) me, I have played my anonymous bit part in the great and ever-present hoax perpetrated by the corporate-military combine. That gives me at least a partially legitimate basis from which to heap as much criticism and abuse on it as possible -- migraines permitting, naturally.

Two things mainly stand out in glaring relief when military thoughts come pounding through my intellectual transom: the astonishment that anyone would voluntarily participate in this madness, knowing what we do about the present political “leadership” and their program of destruction; and the fact that the infiltration of profit-motivated “private contractors” into traditional military spheres of organization and operations has rendered the present-day Pentagon machine virtually unrecognizable, to my jaundiced eye at any rate.

... As to the first point -- well, regardless of the circumstances or particular period of time, it’s always nothing less than flabbergasting that anybody is willing to quite literally sign their lives, limbs, and gonads over to the tender mercies of a sinister organization predicated on the projection of corporate power and death. Nobody in their right mind would even consider such a thing, you would think. But they do, in surprisingly large numbers. Now, I enlisted during the Reagan years, and while that doddering old fuck clearly was the undisputed prototype of today’s Neo-Con figurehead meat puppet, most of us in uniform who could actually think never once believed that Reagan would -- or could -- launch us all on a catastrophic adventure even remotely comparable to Bush’s messes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and who knows where else. Reagan’s relatively low-key military misfires (relative in contrast to Bush’s, of course), such as Lebanon, Grenada, and Libya, touched only a small fraction of us in the GI ranks. In fact, I was stationed in Germany at what was probably the high-water mark of the Cold War, during the peak of the US military presence in Europe, well before the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc began to collapse under its own dead weight. We never took the “Soviet threat” seriously, ham-handed indoctrination and constant training and war-gaming notwithstanding -- we were compelled to go through the motions, nothing more. Our prime areas of concern involved the universal problems of “peacetime” American GI life, 1980’s version: getting laid, getting loaded, and the difficulties caused by a weak US dollar against the West German mark. Being involved in an illegal war of aggression was literally the last thing that ever entered our crabbed, alcohol-drenched little minds. In fact, it never did.

Maybe it had more to do with the particular branch of the military than anything else, but nobody I knew was pursuing some sacred mission or trying to fulfill an ill-defined ideological agenda by offering themselves up for enlistment. I certainly wasn’t indulging in either of these absurd fictions -- I was motivated by that classic, rather unpredictable combination of youthful irresoluteness, boredom, and incipient poverty. These “principles” are still very much in existence, of course, perhaps even more than ever. But the fundamental implications inherent to the seemingly innocuous act of affixing a signature to the bottom of an enlistment contract are vastly different these days; even a cursory inspection of the Neo-Con program, as well as a passing acquaintance with what the psycho-killers in the Cheney/Rove regime have actually perpetrated over the past six-plus years, should leave absolutely no room for doubt about what’s in store for any nitwit stupid enough to join the military. This is precisely why my attitude towards today’s enlistees is as sourly ambivalent as it is. At less optimistic moments (which are becoming more and more frequent), I can’t help but think: anyone blind and/or dumb enough to mortgage their sorry asses to the Pentagon in this dangerous epoch -- specifically, after the Supreme Court first appointed George W. Bush to the Presidency -- pretty much deserves every horribly fucked-up thing that happens to them.

Yeah, I know -- that’s just a tad bit harsh, maybe even grossly unfair. It’s certainly conflicted. So what? Only a hydrocephalic baboon with a heart condition would be incapable of understanding what the present regime means for the minions caught on the lower rungs of the military’s ladder to nowhere, so bravely volunteering to be some sort of nameless sacrifice on the altar of Neo-Conservatism is, to put it mildly, just utterly ridiculous. Besides, my not-so-disguised contempt for the sick fools who offer up their blood and guts to the Fascist cause actually pales in comparison to that shown by the criminal regime they so guilelessly serve. Whether it’s the denial of benefits for those who literally contribute their pound of flesh for the Fatherland, or the bottom-line spectacle of privatizing the military and its multitudinous and frequently nefarious functions, never has officialdom been so thoroughly suffused with such sheer, unmitigated antipathy and scorn for the uniformed idiots who provide the muscle for their dangerously overwrought ambitions. Having once been counted among said gaggle of uniformed idiots, I can at least speak from experience -- a word that nearly all Repug politicos and technocrats are unable to apply to themselves, as far as military matters are concerned.

Sorry. I was going to comment further on the travesty of “private military contractors,” but my long-windedness has run headlong into the blurry, uncertain stirring of yet another migraine headache. I’m going to get medicated now -- I apologize for wasting everybody’s time.