Monday, June 28, 2004

How to Watch Fahrenheit 9/11

I haven't seen it yet. I'm happy to report that all showings, save the very late night ones, were sold out here in Nashville. I had wanted to go on opening weekend to show support both for the message of the film and for documentaries in general during the critical first weekend. Looks like I didn't need to worry about that.

That said, I have the following thoughts that I will be packing up carefully and taking with me into the theatre when I watch the film. I think they will help.

1. This is a momentous occasion. Documentaries do not do well in this country. Political documentaries really don't do well in this country.

2. Moore's politics are inconsistent. Although all kinds of forces have gotten on his bandwagon hoping to help steer, Moore is just a regular American with often contradictory politics. He can make an anti-war film while endorsing Wesley Clark, for example. He can call for the assassination of "Al Qaeda" leaders. I imagine, like many Americans, he was pretty gung-ho about attacking Afghanistan. My sharp and insightful readers are skeptical of that war, too, but immediately after 9/11, it was very easy to understand that sentiment, misguided or even manipulated as it might have been.

3. He wouldn't put in the more conspiratorial stuff even if he believed it. I think that Moore doesn't go deep enough. He believes in Al Qaeda (though surely he knows that Bin Laden and company were trained by the CIA. I think that is mainstream now, isn't it?). He believes they were behind 9/11 and that they exist as some independent, viable network and not some false flag operation cooked up by shadowy intelligence types. But his hands are also tied a bit. There is NO WAY this film would have seen such a wide release if he'd said that the Bush administration or the CIA allowed and/or arranged for 9/11. We need to be thankful that he's gotten out as much as he has. And, he traps the Bushes in their own logic. If it really is a Saudi Sponsored Al Qaeda and Bin Laden that is the problem, why are the Bushes business partners with them? Oh, the Bin Laden family "rejected" Osama? What, they had a big ceremony or something? Please.

4. Moore is a Democrat. Sorry. I hate it too. This means he will support Kerry (or Clark before that) despite the fact that Kerry was never anti-war. Kerry eventually said he'd been "misinformed" into supporting the war. That would mean he is stupid. I don't think he is, and, as I've said before, he could have gotten enough information to debunk Bush's reasons for war on the internet before finishing his morning coffee. He could have called Scott Ritter. He could have read Doonesbury. Sheesh. And Kerry still won't speak out forcefully against the war. Gore sure as hell, has. Either Kerry supports the basic agenda that led to this war and simply wants to manage it better, or he is too weak to stand up for anything. Nevertheless, I am sure Moore supports Kerry in the "anyone but Bush" spirit.

That said, if you aren't going to embrace a more radical critique of the U.S. and want to be a Democrat, then let Moore be your guide about HOW to be a Democrat. Stand up for yourself. We have a TWO party system for a reason, so that one party can stand up to the other when they go TOO FAR. I wish Democrats would go further, but they are too tied into the same system. That said, if you are a Democrat with the approach of Moore (and even Gore these days) I just might bother to vote for you.

5. So my last point, and I'm happy to see that this actually hasn't happened, but I'll make it anyway: Don't attack Moore for what he didn't say, or for putting out a different message than you think he should. We (and by we, I mean the left here) like to argue more with each other than with the powers that be. Moore isn't perfect, but he will get more people thinking than any number of articles in Z magazine or the Nation. Happily, most all websites I frequent have raised objections to this film in the spirit of "Yes, this is fantastic, and there is even more to the story, or another way to look at things." I think this is the right approach.

I'm looking forward to seeing the film, though I think I have an idea of most of what is in it. I am encouraging everyone else I know to see it as well. I will say this, however. If any of those MoveON people show up to get me to vote for Kerry...well, I will have no problem telling them off.

Friday, June 25, 2004

More on Kim

I've yet to receive any decent explanation as to why Kim is speaking in English on the videotape released by his captors. the best attempted explanation so far is that his captors told him to speak English, pitching their message to the U.S. rather than South Korea.

To add to the mystery, it turns out that the South Korean government may have known of his abduction much earlier than reported, due to ANOTHER videotape. In this video, which I have not found yet, but is reportedly on the internet, Kim is seen answering questions from an unseen interviewer, and English. The tape was originally given to the AP in Baghdad in EARLY JUNE. When asked if a Mr. Kim was missing, the South Korean government said, "no." On that tape, Kim identifies himself as a math teacher and sharply critiques the U.S. occupation. I'm glad he was so against the occupation, but one does wonder why he was assisting it, then.

Here's the link to the story.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

More Beheadings

Well, there will be no more need to speculate if it is the mythical Al-Zarqawi behind these beheadings. With victim Kim Sun-il the evil-doers helpfully posed in front of a banner that said "Unity and Jihad" which is the same name that someone has been using who has been sending the videos to Al-Jazeera. The person or persons responsible for sending those videos also use the name Al-Zarqawi, so,'s really him. As most of you know, it is impossible to sign on to a discussion forum under a different name. You have to be an ADVANCED HACKER for such a feat.

This particular beheading came at a good time for the Bush junta. While the other beheadings have not gone over very well, resulting, it seems, in yet a further diminishing of support for the Iraq war, this one was different. You see, for some reason known only to the many news agencies who've reported this story, Mr. Kim's religion was featured prominently. I don't just mean "Christian," which includes a lot of people that some of our fundamentalist friends would hardly consider "saved," but "evangelical Christian."

Now for those of you playing the home edition of this game, you'll need to understand a few things about so-called evangelicals.

1. They are, along with the Super Rich, George Bush's base.

2.Evangelicals are as much into martyrs as Muslim fundamentalists, even if they have to bend a few facts to create them. Witness that girl at Columbine who supposedly was shot for denying God. Nevermind that lots of people were shot who may or may not have a had a "personal relationship with Jesus," or that the story was later discredited. That incident was both an inspiration and an important confirmation of...

3. Christians are a PERSECUTED MINORITY in the United States. Hang on, there, Chester. I KNOW they have a president in the White House and an Asscroft in the Justice Department. I KNOW they have immense wealth. I KNOW they even have their own cable networks, complete with slick, professional "newscasts." These guys really believe that they are on the verge of being herded into gulags, all because they can't make public schools force Jews, Hindus and atheists to sing "Jesus Loves Me." And they are deadly serious about this, so don't laugh. In fact, it is one of the biggest subtexts in politics currently. Whether they are a force on their own, or merely being manipulated by other, more sinister forces, I'll let the reader decide.

All right then. At an extreme ebb for support for the war (Fakey fake media polls show less than 50% support for the war. A real poll would no doubt show that the war is now only supported by a guy named Wendell from Hoboken who does nothing buy play Counterstrike and eat Doritos all day.), comes a Christian martyr. Go back and read the coverage. EVERY story mentions prominently that the guy was an Evangelical Christian.

Oh, a quick aside. If you are a Christian, please go read the Gospels. I think you may be surprised that, contrary to popular belief, Jesus did not support TORTURE and the WHOLESALE SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS. Yeah, it's true. Evidently the guy was actually kind of non-violent. Go figure.

But back to our story. This poor, confused man, who hoped to become a Christian missionary and put his Arabic speaking skills to better use than feeding American soldiers who were shooting up all his potential converts, was shown in video across the world pleading for his life....IN ENGLISH!!! As they say in the heavily abbreviated jargon of internet chat: WTF???

Now, someone who reads this site may have found an explanation for this. I've tried to think of one. His captors were, of course, evil Arabs, and the message was to the South Korean government. We know he spoke Arabic, because he was a translator. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that he probably spoke Korean as well. Yet, he chose to give at least a portion of his plea in English. Maybe the guy just really understood who tells the South Koreans what to do. I don't know.

Anyway, I haven't seen it yet, but you'll soon see the rightwing Christian sites calling this man a martyr and rallying the troops to kill for Jesus. You can bet your entire collection of colorful WWJD bracelets and bumper stickers.

On a separate note: I got into a discussion with my Uncle the other day about the upcoming draft. He is a liberal but served in Vietnam, so he thinks other kids should have that opportunity as well. Or something. He's certainly against the war, but he was also concerned that our troops were stretched too thin. That, of course, is the point. If you occupy a country, you use up a lot of resources, so don't invade any countries and you won't need a draft. You see a simple...oh, nevermind.

Anyway, it occurred to me that we have troops all over the world who would be happy to help out. So I looked it up. How many countries do you think the U.S. military has bases in? Give up?

Scroll down for answer!!!

Keep scrolling!!!

Almost there!!!!

Survey says: 132. That's the official number, not counting any secret bases that may be out there. Folks there are only 190 countries in the world. (190 if you count Vatican City and 191 if you count East Timor, but if you do count East Timor, it could be rather embarrassing to the U.S. since we supported Indonesia as they basically tried to erase the population of East Timor right out of the almanac.)

That's over 700 bases on foreign soil. Guess how many foreign military bases are on U.S. soil? I'll give you a hint, it rhymes with Nero.

So, a little arithmetic will show you that our country has bases in 70 percent of the world's countries. Hmmm....maybe they don't hate us just because we love freedom.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

More Calls for military takeover

Admittedly, this comes from a less "mainstream source." In fact, I hate this guy. He's always complaining about how men are being emasculated by the women's movement. In other words, he has some...well...issues. However, this posting, from the Jeff Rense site, is another example of either a genuine opinion being offered that things are so corrupt only a military takeover can save us, or else a deliberate attempt to soften up public opinion in this regard. I'll leave figuring out which one as an exercise for the reader.

Here's a thoughtful quote from the article:

I really trust our people in uniform, because I really am an American.

Okay. Solid logic there. Before jumping onto this particular bandwagon, please do remember that our very own CIA specialized in the destabilization of countries to the point where a "military takeover" was instituted. This is so common, I believe they give it to first year interns to handle, like they do the election fixing. I mean, it's actually an insult to be a veteran spy guy and have to handle stuff like this. "You're still doing elections? At fifty? Sorry, man."

I could be wrong, but I don't remember another time in my life that people openly called for a military coup.

I'm collecting these calls for military action, so, if you find one, drop me a line.

Friday, June 11, 2004


This just in. Ronald Reagan is STILL dead. Repeat, Ronald Reagan is still dead. His fourth funeral service will be this evening.

It was the Reagan administration, you'll recall, who happily began to endorse the Messiah. No, not Jesus. Not Mel Gibson. No, I mean Rev. Sun Myung Moon, of course. If you traced all the rightwing conspiracies that we know of stemming from that era, you'll find Moon at the lurking on the fringes of all of them. Evidently, a bipartisan group of Congressmen helpfully attended his coronation as the New Savior. If you ever have the pleasure of listening to G. Gordon Liddy, you know that he constantly praises Moon's organ (propaganda organ, that is) the Washington Times. You see, God told Moon to get the Times and make it his mouthpiece. It is now, according to Liddy, the nation's Premiere Newspaper.

Go to the above link and then the links within the article. If you don't know about Moon's influence in this country, it is time you learned. The weirdest thing about it, is that this man, who claims that he personally is the Messiah, or new Messiah or something like that, has backing from fundamentalist Christians. While you are at it, give Liddy a call and ask him if he thinks Moon is the Messiah.

Now, we return you to your regularly scheduled Reagan memorial marathon.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

A Great Puppet-in Chief

I don't think Reagan was supposed to win in '80. After all, the former head of the CIA was running against him, and the CIA knows how to get people "elected." Maybe it was his Sinatra contacts. Maybe he just struck a cord with people. We like movie stars in this country, I'm told.

In 1981 they tried to fix that. John Hinckley shot him and yet Reagan did not die. Here is an interesting article that came out very soon after. John Hinckley's brother Scott was to have had dinner at Neil Bush's house that very night. Just a coincidence, of course. Proves nothing. So, alas, Bush would have to wait a whole 7 more years to run the show. At least openly.

Reagan may not have known of all the torture and murder his administration backed in the 80's, particularly in Central America. He just read his script each day. But if you want to know who was really behind all that nastiness, you just have to look at George Jr.'s administration. Many of those same nasty people have resurfaced. John Negroponte is now ambassador to Iraq. John Poindexter was in charge of the Total Information Awareness project that was shut down in order to draw attention away from the numerous such projects going full steam ahead. Otto Reich just joined moved into the Bush re-election team. Eliot Abrams is still smarming about in search of lips. If you recognize these names from Iran-Contra, give yourself four marks.

I am no expert on Iran-Contra, myself. And we'll never know all the details, such as how intimately CIA drug running was tied into the affair. Maybe John Tower, who chaired the Commission appointed to whitewash Iran-Contra, knew something more, but he died in one of those pesky plane crashes that seem to plague our politicians.

In any event, Reagan played his part well. Bush Jr. shows you just how low the quality of our political puppets has sunk since Reagan's strings were pulled.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Military Overthrow of Bush and Co.?

Let the reader be warned....I can think of about nineteen different ways to interpret the article to which I link below. The author, Wayne Madsen, is consistently published at Counterpunch. He's a former NSA guy under Reagan. Oh, yeah, and he says that if the elections are tampered with, the military will rise up and assume control of the nation in order to return constitutional law.

Ummm...yikes...uh...scary stuff. Will there be Dementors? This is not yet known.

What is known is that this article is not the first of its kind I've seen, but the first one I've seen so positioned in left media.

Wait, want to read it first and check my rambling later?

Now, of the nineteen different ways I can interpret this article, there are two basic trains of thought. First, the article can be accepted at face value. Goodhearted, upright military men are noticing that our constitution is more of a decorative accent than an integral part of our national structure these days and, if the elections don't change things, by Patton, they will! Well, if they run this place like they have every place else they've been in the last half century, I am not too happy about this option. After all, the number of democracies that were left behind in the wake of U.S. military interventions in dozens of countries in the last 50 years is, well, zero. I don't exactly know how U.S. military intervention in the U.S. will be much different.

The above, I'm afraid to say, is the most optimistic interpretation I have of Madsen's article. Here's the darker side. Madsen is former intelligence...under Reagan, no less, whose administration spawned many of the nasty creepy-crawlies which he now looks to the military to stamp out. (Just LOOKING at Eliot Abrams makes me shudder.) This article may be a bit of a trial balloon, to see how the left reacts to the idea of a full-scale military coup d'etat, or, more properly a counter coup, as we already had a coup d'etat in 2000.

Wait. It gets worse. One reader wrote to me about my Abu Ghraib (or Abu Grabbamyassa as Bush pronounces it) article and said those nasty pictures weren't released accidentally, it was all part of a plan. I have to admit, that post of mine was a sort of tongue-in-cheek grasping at straws. It could very well be that all of the items I've put in my "wow, at least these guys are so incompetent they are going to self-destruct" column, actually belong in my "secret cabal is moving into the next phase of action by discrediting the Bush's and assuming control through a 'benign' military dictatorship" column.

This scenario is depressing for many reasons beyond the obvious one of, well, becoming an official military dictatorship. For example, it seemed to me a good and right thing to do to publicize the idea that the 2004 elections will most likely be fixed. Reporters such as Greg Palast and activists such as Bev Harris have done a fine job getting this idea into the mainstream press to a certain degree. Now, obvious election tampering might precipitate this military takeover. So what is to keep the military intelligence people from messing with elections to justify their coup?

Madsen says that military action might be triggered by the Bushistas' delaying or cancelling of elections due to some dangerous terrorist threat, such as Jose Padilla being allowed to talk to his lawyer. Well, the military is in even better position to fake terrorist events than the Bushies, as the plans were drawn up decades ago for Operation Northwoods. They could simply blow up a couple of American landmarks, such as a Walmart or a McDonalds, (hmmm that might not be! I am AGAINST a military coup...must remember) forcing Bush to go to code red and then using that as a pretense for swooping in and taking over. Further, if 9-11 was, in fact, allowed to happen or even caused by our government, surely it HAD TO HAVE BEEN with at least some level of military complicity. I mean come hard can it really be for an F-16 to catch a passenger plane? So perhaps this has all been part of the plan all along.

My head hurts.

Wheels within wheels. It is impossible to know exactly who is behind what elements of this crisis. One thing is clear, however. There has been very little real discussion about how opposition movements should react in the event that the '04 elections are cancelled and/or martial law is declared. We have no plan. Evidently, though, the U.S. military does. If we can't build momentum quickly after November '04, we may be forced to sit back and watch as the military takes its own actions. I'll leave you with a quote from the article, clearly appealing to the left, just this once, to accept a military dictatorship as legitimate:

If our military leaders decide to honor their oath to the Constitution, let those of us who would normally find abhorrent a Seven Days in May scenario, welcome their action.