The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check USA
OBAMAWAR + Readers Responses
Okay, now the anti-war president is at war. This makes sense. Sure it does.
Remember in 1964 when LBJ’s campaign included this nugget; "We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves"? Then Nixon got elected in ’68 with a secret plan to end the Vietnam War and escalated it to horrifically criminal heights by bombing peaceful, sovereign nations “back to the stone age”. Oh, and remember when George W. Bush spoke in the late-summer of 2000 of a “humble foreign policy”?
They can’t help it. It’s all over them like feces, runs through them like a virus. War. Aggression. The heritage of the post-WW II generations – make trouble in some godforsaken region of the planet for cash, energy, unholy alliances and the always popular “face-saving” or as it is couched by the dumb, “World Leadership” and then get embroiled in the fallout. It is practically part of the job description, even if you maneuver your way through a Democratic Primary in 2008 overcoming the Clinton Machine bitching about Madam Shoo-In’s vote to allow presidents unchecked powers to wage war for generations – the very blank check used now to renege on a promise during the subsequent current presidency; get out of Iraq, for good.
Ten presidents in my lifetime; eight of which were touched in some way by aggression and war, now this one; the reasoned, over-analyzing, “lead from behind” guy, with the Don’t Do Dumb Stuff foreign policy. I like that guy. I need him back. Only Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter failed to bomb a nation, colonize a nation, meddle in a nation. Ford was around for barely two years and Jimmy friggin Carter. Where’s Jimmy Carter? I want him. I’ll take all the other shit; false energy crisis, Iranian hostages, soaring inflation, malaise, whatever. Just, please… no more war.
And for the sake of Allah, please don’t insult our intelligence AGAIN with “imminent threat”! Imminent threat? Who’s buying that bilge? I’ve got a good idea; how about ramping up our security, use all that free-willy NSA lawless wiretapping and that massive boondoggle called Homeland Security and the billions we toss into nearly every country in the region and keep the wolves at bay. Is that too much to ask? Do I run around Paterson, NJ rounding up all the crack heads to ensure my safety?
So enough of the imminent threat talk, especially from an “enemy” that wishes first to create its own territory by some metaphysical manifest destiny with holy genocide. Isn’t that how this country was formed?
By the way, Americans only ended up dead once we got involved with “only a humanitarian mission”. My inner-cynic has me half believing this was a Rooseveltian two-step to force the potential enemy to respond and then gin up the masses for war, like Pearl Harbor, when in the summer of ’41 some 80 percent of the greatest generation wanted no part of Hitler’s Europe or whatever carnage the Japanese were pulling in the Far East. FDR had other ideas.
We are so reactionary, so myopic, that two-thirds of us sanely tell this federal government to NOT get involved in this patently obvious religious killing spree, then after two rogue journalists get beheaded on camera (two – less than the women beaten by NFL players or unarmed black men murdered by cops daily) we suddenly MUST stop the Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL or whatever fancy crapolla 20 thousand marauders are currently calling themselves or being called by salivating hawks.
Twenty thousand? Maybe thirty-thousand? That is less people than fit inside Madison Square Garden give or take a grand. This is why we’re ramping up for war? This is what the president has to solemnly roll out the rah-rah for? This is why we are discussing entering a bloody Syrian civil war, which has already taken the toll of our nifty one over 150 years ago, (6000,000 dead)? This is why we’re parading the state department around the Middle East to gain the support of nearly every country that hates us, most pointedly our greatest enemy/ally, Saudi Arabia – they of the Desert Storm damsels that got us in the tinderbox in the first place, Osama bin Laden, 15 of the 19 9/11 attackers that secretly funds anti-American sentiment across the region?
Speaking of this Fourth Century sinkhole; once you hear things like “stabilizing the region” or “supporting our allies” you know you’re being railroaded, as in, “enriched uranium” or WMD’s, then it becomes Iraqi Freedom then “take the fight to al Qaeda over there”, and then the Surge and then the infinite mission of stabilization. If this is a true threat to the region, then where is Iran? Where is Saudi Arabia? Where is Jordan? Where is Turkey? The Iraqi Army doesn’t even care enough to fight, with our weapons and our training. Let’s not even begin to dissect the stupidity of arming “moderate rebels” in Syria. We know less about the rebels there then Dick Cheney knew about all those Iraqis accepting us as liberators or as the bungling Donald Rumsfeld so idiotically framed it the last go round; “We know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know.”
Who knew that Rumsfeld’s slack-jawed babbling perfectly explained this nation’s foreign policy since 1945? Hell, nobody knows how this is going to turn out, but evidence of the past half-century gives us a pretty clear indication that if it includes our military then it won’t be good. And don’t believe a word of “no boots on the ground”, which is a classic “just sending in advisors” kind of thing that ends up with 40,000 dead kids and thousands more maimed and mentally ill, many of which we don’t even care for now.
This is our anti-war president.
© James Campion September 19th 2014
So much liberal handwringing in such a short space. (FEARGUSON –Issue: 8/27/14) So Ferguson is because of something 50 years ago, half a continent away? Nice, good to know. So when do we march for the thousands of African Americans killed in black on black crime or do those stats not matter because they don’t meet the “fear quotient” or help further the narrative of racist cops shooting “unarmed African American youths”?
Look, if you want to talk about the increased unConstitutional militarization of police, I am right there with you but to keep furthering and giving credence to lawless “protest” and blaming it on something a half century ago, that’s where you lose me. Where is personal responsibility? Where is the proper raising of kids? We need to, for once, to be honest with ourselves and finally admit that government programs like welfare decimated the African American family by taking out the need for the African American male to be a strong positive role model. The constant excusing of this abhorrent behavior will only ensure its continued presence.
It’s time to step up and take responsibility both citizens and law enforcement.
This is one of the best things I think you have ever written:
“It doesn't get any more primal in the human condition than Fear and Anger. These are the biggies; empathy, sadness, love bounce around in there somewhere, but at our core, as mammals, we react immediately with Fear and Anger. It is the basis of all violence and war. Name one act of violence; whether personal or systemic, and it is derived from Fear and Anger. Sure, sometimes it is masked in wealth, borders, religion or ideology, and most times it is propped up by race, nationality, gender or economic standing, but mostly it is merely Fear and Anger.”
Whenever these things happen, I am always searching for any reason why – on both sides – things go bad so quickly. I am stunned by the footage, by the savagery of people, what people are capable of. So then I read those words and somehow it all boiled down to the core of our being, all of our beings, because who would not lose their minds, their sense of morals if faced with the kind of alleged injustice that is done to their children, and what would the police do, if you were one of them, if faced with the same insanity we see in the streets of Ferguson by its own citizens day after day.
You, James, can break it down to the core. This is your talent. This is why I read this column when surrounded by so much discussion and opinion and dissection that goes nowhere or goes to the same dead end. Not here. Not you.
Bravo, sir. Bravo.
Thanks for the blooper reel--I mean, game summary. (HERE WE GO AGAIN – Issue: 9/10/14) Wish that more journalists could quote their work in this manner; my impression is that most of the more prominent figures have long since sold out for "access" that they're likely moving to redact their previous publications.
Today's news meme, "How Could a Politician Be This Stupid?" (that governor and his wife who got caught trying to pimp Anatabloc, aka CigRx, for Star Scientific, now known as Rock Creek Pharma), but the only stupidity I see is the scale of the fraud. Even my young children have learned from cartoons that if you're going to steal, steal something big. If more money and more political careers had been at stake, they could at least have drawn the thing out.
I think a more interesting invitation might have been, "How Can a Politician Be This Smart?" It is well known how uncommon it is to find intelligent politicians; almost as uncommon as finding intelligent sales professionals. I'll mention Jordan Belfort and leave the rest as an exercise for the reader.
Just one more thing. It's a little thing, but little things bother me. We ascribe -- and then expect certain qualities in our leaders. We all know what these are, and we all know that these are, in fact, exceedingly rare in every human population, and even rarer still among those who earn a living in politics. Why, then, do we continue to act surprised when one or more of them is found to be wanting? Not of the high-minded virtues that we hope for in the people to whom we've surrendered authority, but lacking common mores that our myths tell us that we all possess?
Because we're in on the sham. We can't admit it, we must act as though these heinous deeds are horrific, offensive, and must be eradicated immediately, yet they persist. Simple arithmetic reveals that if we know it's wrong and allow it to continue, then we're part of this conspiracy of dunces. I used to recite, "We get what we tolerate." I think a more accurate observation is, "We have no idea what we're tolerating."
It is hard to believe this is all happening AGAIN! How in the world could this happen AGAIN! Never in a millions years with a million dead journalists could I fathom this happening AGAIN! Wake me up when it’s over.
I know that I am in the minority, but I believe that we MUST take on these maniacs in ISIS, even if it means…”Here We Go Again”. You have to understand that each situation, especially in foreign policy, brings a separate reaction. You always write that to make a blanket statement about anything is going down the path to destruction or ignorance, and now, yet, you are ignoring a major threat to our allies and perhaps in a post-9/11 world, a major threat to the homeland. I fear you are the one being naïve here. And although you’re revisiting your previous columns over the past ten years have shown that we have indeed failed in every way to keep the barbarians from our gates, this should not mean we’re supposed to put our heads in the sand.
That was a stunning review of a very scary time. It proves no matter what how entirely unwinnable this fiasco was and will continue to be without a political or diplomatic solution. This was the president who was supposed to see us through all that, the one that would not bend to the hawks, who try and emasculate him by painting any president who would not engage in knee-jerk war as a sign of machismo masquerading as “toughness” or “strength”. It is sickening to think this cannot even stop with this president. I give up.
The NFL Question
James Campion on Ray Rice
...no one has explained why seeing a man punch a woman is more serious than having him merely admit to it
Here We Go Again
Iraq 2003 to 2014 - No Plan, No Dice
Lessons not learned - words not eaten - advice not taken
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