The crusader


We now now what really matters to Obie, don’t we? (If we didn’t already.)

The guy who laid down and rolled over on public-option healthcare (not to mention single-payer); the guy who made no effort to close Guantanamo; the guy who stayed in Iraq until the Iranians chased him out; the guy who didn’t pick up the phone and put a stop to the torture of Bradley Manning; the guy who hasn’t sicced his Attorney General on George Zimmerman; that same guy — that apparently feckless guy — has become a balls-to-the-wall zealot for war with Syria. He’s willing to put his ‘Presidential legacy’ on the line for it, as all the bigfoot media solemnly intone.

Of course, one might observe that qua legacy, it’s pretty pathetic, so why not?

One wonders why he decided to involve Congress. Did he want company in the dock, at some possible future Nuremberg trial?

Whatever his reason, it was a disastrous error. The congressional ‘leadership’, of course, is solidly behind this crusade, but even with the Israel lobby at full throttle on the topic, rankanfilers are reluctant.

Presumably the reason is that the US public isn’t buying it at all. Never let it be said that the human capacity for pattern recognition is entirely atrophied.

Even the British Parliament seems to get it. Amazing. The only thing not to like about Cameron’s stunning rebuff is that it makes that querulous runt, Ed Miliband, look like a political genius.

Meanwhile, in France, the ‘socialist’ Francois Hollande, like his Tory cross-channel counterpart, has become a figure of fun for his lapdoggery towards the Bombardier-In-Chief. A kind of bipartisan abjection.

Entertaining times.

Among other sources of pleasure it’s amusing to see the cliche mill operating at max RPM. The whole plant is vibrating, the overheated bearings shrieking at near-supersonic pitch.

My favorite cliche product of the moment is the shocked observation that Assad (*) ‘used chemical weapons against…’ — wait for it — ‘his own people’.

Hmm. Would it be better if he had used them against somebody else’s people? Better if he had blown them up rather than gassed them? Why?

I’ve always suspected that the great powers’ disapproval of chemical weapons is based on the fact that they might be a field-leveller for small powers against large ones. If one well-placed rocket could wipe out an armored division, then the big battalions don’t count for quite so much any more. Same reasoning as with nukes, really.

(*) Supposedly. The whole business smells a lot like the Gulf of Tonkin to me.

12 thoughts on “The crusader

  1. A couple things MJS:
    1. I don’t think it’s a matter of cowardice or rolling over so much as Obie possessing an alternative set of objectives than those extolled by his army of sycophants, and obviously those exclaimed by him in the service of politicking. My own personal opinion is that to divine the forces that are most pressing on Obie’s decision making you have to look to who his peer group is and also where he spends most of his time. Just like everyone else, Obie is more subject to the pressures of his domestic life and his immediate physical cravings than he is by some abstract game of geopolitical chess, just as us ‘regular folk’ are most often more preoccupied with making sure we get home in time for the latest episode of “Matlock” than balancing our check book or running financial projections of our retirement accounts. And since Obie possesses those same myopic facilities as us mere mortals, I’d say that most everyone’s most pressing desire is usually to make sure we look ‘cool’ to those we aspire to impress. And for Obie that happens to be the Beltway Crowd, who believe that it is a president’s duty to engage in some sort of folie de grandeur in order to secure their ‘legacy’. When Obie decides to set in motion a military attack on Syria, he does so from the comfort, actually extreme comfort, of the White House surrounded by a bunch people who are going to nod assent to whatever farfetched scheme he may hatch. And should the whole thing turn into a disaster, what will be the immediate consequence for Obie? Lower speaking circuit fees? A negative David Broder column? The chef overcooking the bouillabaisse? He can’t even imagine what his ‘decision’ will mean for those on the end of it, they might as well be on Mars.
    2. A minor quibble regarding the exit from Iraq. I don’t believe it was the doings of the Iranians, although they were the obvious benefactors of the political outcome there, I believe the Iraqis were the one’s who told Bush to get the fuck out when they forced that SOFA on the US back in 2008. Once that happened, it was pretty much a fait accompli when Obie took over because the Iraqis made it very clear that they would rain terrible violence down on as many soldiers as possible if they tried to stay, and that was way too much of a political risk.

    • Right on both counts. My use of the ‘weak , feckless’ Obie notion was meant to be ironical; I have never believed in that one, myself, but it’s the standby parachute for Democrats who can’t stomach what the guy is doing but also can’t face the fact that both he and his party are not at all ineffectual; rather, they are deeply, and very effectually, malign.

    • Your prose was painfully intelligent, Mr. Alexander, but your illustration only illuminates anything meaningful if Obama is actually making his own decisions. We may ignore our retirement prospects in favor of geriatric barristers during our private lives, yes; Obama, though, is on the clock when he pursues war with Syria. Ergo the great Stratego board in the sky comes into play with as much force as does your own employer’s decision that post-it notes shall now be purchased in bulk neon pink at Costco, rather than 3-packs of yellow. Namely, it happens, and all non-contraband post-it notes in sight become neon pink. Your subsequent choice to jot a message on one, or to discipline the new secretary for spending petty cash on the yellow, is the action of a mere agent, rather than your own lamentable choice in color.

      People do exist who are able and willing to focus on more than biological and domestic pressures. Obama may or may not be one himself; in either case, he follows such a modus operandi, whether internal or external be his directions. The grave mistake in your conclusion is that you have been convinced that the devil, as it were, does not actually exist. Instead, evil is caused only by a chaotic confluence of petty desires. This makes you vulnerable to fundamentally erroneous conclusions about the nature of existence. While you will handily dissect Obama’s failures, you may fall prey to the next iteration, courtesy the unwillingness to believe that there is, indeed, an Enemy–an Enemy quite able to exist outside the bounds of behavior you consider possible.

      What if there are generations of people willing to devote their coordinated lives to abstract geopolitical chess? Five thousand years later, we would be well served to reconsider whether the science of small realisms is, in fact, another of their ploys.

  2. I have a much simpler take on this. One of the jobs of the president is maintenance of the American Empire. You don’t get to be president without being fully committed to that proposition. There are a number of high stakes gambits playing out in the middle east, none of which are discussed in the news, told to the American people by their representatives, admitted to by the myriad intelligence and defense agencies or acknowledged by, well, anyone. The job of the president is to game out the scenarios and play the gambits.

    The death of innocents is of no consideration in this game, although as we have seen from the countless cases of blow back, it is of consequence.

  3. Main ‘players, and if it were not so late my diagram would
    be more clear, plus a few words,,,,,,as is, obie is far beyond clueless.
    Y’all know there are still conflicts in both N and S Caucusus…

    US—–>Syrian FSA[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ Assad …………………………… RUSSIA

    Rebels –kids w/weapons

    And Also………………………………..\\………..funded by KSA
    —————–\\–al Nusra
    ——————\\–ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria]]
    —————————————–Prince Bandar bin Sultan

    Saudi-death-row inmates\\
    [ 110 Yemenis,
    21 Palestinians,
    212 Saudis,
    96 Sudanese,
    254 Syrians,
    82 Jordanians,
    68 Somalis,
    32 Afghanis,
    94 Egyptians,
    203 Pakistanis,
    23 Iraqis,
    44 Kuwaitis
    .Director of follow up in Ministry of Interior
    Abdullah bin Ali al-Rmezan

    • Hey Mike,

      Sure enough The Honeymooners –

      The Saudis honeymooning with Islamic radicals to take the Assad regime down while,same time USA hugging the Free Syria Army [FSA] which is really a bunch of kids/dummies. Here’s a BBC article that gives an idea – ”Syria hostage Domenico Quirico ‘treated like animal”’
      The other orgs there – the true radical Islamists – have also been involved in violence in the [Russian] Caucasus which, along with possible break of natgas control and threats to next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi,Russia, furthers that nation’s tension w/ the Saudis
      [to the degree that Russia would destabilize the Saudi regime if the US directly attacks Syria?]

      US v Russia through mediation of Syrian civil war and Saudi Arabia seems ”coldwarish” but would surely jack price of oil.

  4. Comrade Flugennock, as we get closer to Halloween, I look forward to your next art work depicting the despicable B.O. as Jack in Nightmare Before Christmas. He’s a dead ringer for Jack Skellington! You could have a lot of fun with other characters in this movie such as the face turning mayor, the kidnapped Santa, and all those corpse kids.

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