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Antonines and Claudians

By Owen Paine on Thursday March 5, 2009 07:02 PM

Would these men get us out of Iraq?

We've seen good emperors before, haven't we? And if they're cut short -- if Clio scripts a Lincoln exit for 'em -- they can carry the hope/hype through to -- "ahhh, what might have been."

Nor him neither, I suspect -- wearin' the purple changes a feller.

If not them, Owen, you cynical red divil you then by Jayzzzus, wouldn't she get us out?

No? Oh, the terrible blight of it all, mates!

Comments (14)

Peter Ward:

I think this just confuses the issue. They will stay if it suits them to stay and withdraw if it suits them to withdraw. The relevant question is: who would withdraw from humane principle rather than cynical calculation? Naturally the answer is no one who becomes elected president.


"I think this just confuses the issue"

no it shows
how humane and emperor
co exist in one top head
and how humane is a faulty guide
to policy

humane principle gets uncle
shooting his way into places..not out

once he's there
by whatever pretext
humane principle
becomes an alibi for staying there

the imperial thumb is a sivilizin' thumb

a good emperor is a humane "realist"

a stabilizin' thumb is a humane thumb

so if any process of social change
any popular rebellion
any national liberation
morphs to
nasty inhumane culturally retrogressive
bam send in the boy scout marines

good emperors intervene ... humanely to "arrest" killing field processes

for the tender of soul
Clio all too often
rides rough shod
on her most important rides

"confusion " comes when
u the well intended innocent
metro/cosmopolitan philo-humanist
anti naughty folks
after a career of take swipes
at sweat shopin'
limited liability laputa LLC's
move the focus of your " sentiment"
who benefits here in the metropole
who might get relief help rescue etc
out there
in savo-barbary

the only progressive words
to hurl at " empire and its state involvements
out there"
"get your/our
condor legionaires
the fuck back home now uncle "

best agit prop

" rivers of our blood and
monutains of our treasure
just to bene them tower trolls "


"They will stay if it suits them to stay and withdraw if it suits them to withdraw"

that line mate is all you need as a guide
in one sense
to know it suited them to get in
and now it suits the empire to stay
tells us nothing except
they're there cause they can be their
but why ??
what about being there suits them ??

" stop the naughty "
does not equate to "stop the empire"
does it ??

if force is required to "save lives "
if staying there is required
"to do the right thing "....

the now we're there
now we broke the place up
we owe them to stay
till its safe there
from intercommunal slaughter
till their safe from themselves

the confrontations with iran and russia ???

hey maybe we're a lesser evil
then russia and maybe surely lesser then iran...
ooooo ...the taliban ...sudanese raiders ...zimby dictators ..

liberal hearts are as often
maybe more often eased
out of their strident indignation
by humane considerations
of on the one hand but but but on the other

the empire to be an empire must
torture some suspects
and bomb some innocent souls
yikes i hate that but but but nik
if the alternative is mindless savage bestial
rape and mass slaughter ...

i suggest u get off
the " my humanity dictates"
gerble wheel mate
except when your in a liberal drawing room talking to a gentle soul

all actions are composites
made up of in-com-mensurate elements
parts clio plucks right off the shelf

purifying reasoning
expensive call girls both

u end up chasing your tail
as the empire rolls on un-abated


Peter unvelied as Boswell to Owen's Dr. Johnson! No disagreement that I can see between 'em.

Eleanor might have done the trick, shamed us into being better, but the Generals would have seized the government.

Actually, Roosevelt had the best chance, since the seat of empire hadn't been fully transferred to the US in the 30's, and in fact there was a strong vein of domestic isolationism then.

But your point, and Peter's, is that the logic of accumulation and the never ending need for new investment and profits is like a law of nature, unopposable by any single human being.


Obama was openly called "the Black Kennedy" in the Russian press during the campaign, but I'm sure Obie doesn't want to follow in JFK's footsteps too closely, especially the ones that lead to Dealey Plaza, re: Vietnam pullout.

Obie's determined to fight the "right" war in Afghanistan and finally bring UBL (who's probably dead) to justice, etc.

And he wants to "re-engage Latin America", which, if I were a Latin American populist politician right now, would positively scare the sh*t out of me.

Those Kids Today:

Woa man. Ha. Ha.

I caught you slipping unconsciously into the imperialist mindset.

"Would these men get us out of Iraq?"

Now I get to play lefty moral scold. Wait. Here it comes.

I'm not in Iraq. They're not my troops and its not my empire.

Yeah. That felt good.

But you forgot one photo, the man who I feel doesn't get enough credit for what he was, one of the only men in history who voluntarily gave up power and drew down the empire rather than slaughter people.

Mikhail Gorbachev

In the end, though, I rather think most of the world's elites think old Gorby was probably a bit of a fool. Had he rolled out the tanks and cracked down hard the way the Chinese did at Tienneman Square, had he offered up Eastern Europe as a gigantic sweat shop did the way Mao's heirs did, he might still be in power TO THIS DAY.

Instead he did the right thing and got tossed into the dust bin of history.



meditation on gorby nice
but a bit too bathetic

gorby is a regular
on the international
npo /trans nat
sucker circuit
loved everywhere but where they know him best
recently took a run at the ice wolf and his
type q party entourage

" I caught you slipping unconsciously into the imperialist mindset"

we are all
all us petty forms
unconscious hegemons
walter mitty for emperor

Those Kids Today:

Dear Mr. Op (Are you black by any chance?), I do believe you are correct.

Even my yahoo e-mail news headlines a few days ago featured Gorby attacking Putin as "similar to the worst kind of communist."

But there's no question that in 1989 Gorby did earn his place in history alongside Clement Attlee as a relatively sane head of state who decided to accept reality instead of going down in a blaze of self-destructive glory.

That's what's always puzzled me about the Germans. They knew what they were up against in 1944. They knew they had the Russians on one side and the Anglo American empire barreling down on them from the other, but instead of overthrowing Hitler and sueing for a negotiated peace, they decided to go down shooting, which would have been fine, but then in 1945, resistence collapsed utterly.

The American losers in 1865 licked their wounds, and a few years later put on the white sheets and drove the Yankees out. The Germans in 1945 were so in love with the idea of western social democracy that they lay down like dogs and accepted that they'd never again be a military power.

Americans in 2008 are in both camps. Some of us want Obama to act like Clement Attlee or Konrad Adenauer, to trade their dominent place in the world for a national health care system and a nice clean demilitarized Christian Democratic statist social democracy.

Some of em want to put on the white sheets, fire up the panzers, and go down in a blaze of red white and blue glory.

Don't be suprised that when things continue to go bad, the ADL, the Southern Poverty Law Center and ultimately Obama's people decide that group number 2 justifies keeping the Patriot Act.


the black kennedy indeed


TKT: astute comment!

Those Kids Today:

Maybe I'll try my hand at this psuedo poetry thing you lefties seem to love so much.

Imagine America
as Nazi Germany,
Bush as Hitler,
and Obama as Konrad Adenauer.

Imagine Reality
as the US and Soviet

Bush met his Stalingrad
in 2005
In General Cindy Sheehan
and Field Marshall Katrina.

In November of 2006,
he experienced his Kursk
at the hands of the Kos Powered
liberal hordes.

In November 2008,
he died in the Bunker.
Obama took on the role of
Konrad Adenauer.

He did not de Nazify.
He left Nazis in the German government.
Nazis were inside the government
of West Germany
until the 1960s.

Most of the Germany people
were as guilty as sin.
But the world didn't care.
They were neutered.

An angry lefty in 1945
would have complained about
Barack Hussein Adenauer
the sellout.

If he could have magically travelled
to the Kremlin
to meet with Stalin himself
he would have found Uncle Joe
uninterested in attacking the Americans.

Uncle Joe had already cut his deal.

So our angry lefty in 1945
would have founded a Trotskyist newspaper
and dreamed about Spain.

Yes, I will admit, it is true
that Obama in 1945 would have
forgot to put Goebels and Goering
in the block at Nuremberg.

He would have moved on.

He would have also forgot
the part about social democracy
and kept the part about being a

So poetry can only take you so far.

On the other hand,
most Germans in 1945
knew about the camps
and they weren't punished.

Most Americans in 1995
genuinely didn't know about
the 500,000 Iraqi children
who died at the hands
of the Clintons.

And they were punished.

By reality.

Those Kids Today:

1945: A Play in Less Than One Act

(The Kremlin)

Al Schumann: Comrad Stalin

Stalin: Speak

Al Schumann: Why is the Red Army sitting in East Berlin.

Stalin: They are enjoying the local women, a bit like what you Americans do in Tijuana.

Al Schumann: So when are they moving west?

Stalin: They're not.

Al Schumann: What!!! What kind of Communist are you? Fire up the T34s and drive right through these American and British imperialist monsters right onto Madrid. Liberate the Plaza de EspaƱa. Avenge the Republic. No Pasaran.

Stalin: It's not so easy.

Al Schumann: Are you crazy. You have 10 times the manpower Truman and Churchill have in Europe.

Stalin: Have you seen what the Americans did in Hiroshima.

Al Schumann: Yes. Yes. Yes. All the more reason to attack them. They're mass murderers. They're as bad as the Nazis.

Stalin: Take him away. I think he tried to poison my food.

Al Schumann (as he's led off by two beefy Russian security goons): But we could be singing the Internationale in Madrid by this time next year.

Stalin: Have him killed.

Al Schumann: Sellout!!! Traitor!!! (Starts singing the Internationale in Spanish as he's led away to his doom).



that model
makes for a poor magic trick
despite the canoe from ontario's
obvious know some ness

beware cutely labeled word models
even more then algebra models

like a straight razor
in the hands of a two year old

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