Friday, December 29, 2006

Why I Realized That Tony Blair Was a Scumbag

I realized that Tony Blair was a dishonest scumbag before he starting sucking Dubya's dick.

Which is strange, because until Dubya came along I didn't take much of an interest in UK or US politics. I'd gathered that Blair had shifted the Labour Party rightwards, calling it "New Labour" (next name change will be to "New Socialism" and finally to "National Socialism") so that it was really Conservative-Lite. But that didn't worry much because up until then I'd figured that both the major UK political parties were equally fucked up (in different ways, but fucked up nonetheless), with the exception of the Tories under Thatcher (who was Genghis Khan in drag). But, for reasons I cannot recall, one particular incident of Blair's grabbed my attention: the Millennium Dome.

For my US readers (OK, I'm kidding myself, I don't have any readers) I'll have to go into the background. The Tories introduced the National Lottery (a.k.a. "idiot tax"). The idea was to con idiots into gambling and thereby achieve three objectives:

  • Give the downtrodden poor the illusion that they had a chance to escape poverty.

  • Enrich Camelot (the company with the franchise to run the lottery).

  • Push 50% of the profits into "public works." That is, fund total shite that nobody wanted and that it would be embarrassing to fund directly from tax revenue so that corporate buddies could get rich.

One of those "public works" was the Millennium Dome. An attraction built in London to rival great exhibitions of the past such as the Crystal Palace. Everybody thought it was a bad idea. Nobody wanted it. Even by lottery-funding standards, it was high on the list of unwanted shite (and when you consider some of the white elephants the lottery funded, that is hard to achieve).

Public opinion polls said the idea should be scrapped. Most members of parliament (the equivalent of the US house of representatives) thought the idea should be scrapped. Blair pressed on regardless and the MPs actually went along with it.

Later it was revealed just what a cunt Blair was. Prime Ministers have long used the party whips to blackmail MPs of their own party into submission: the threats range from dropping the MP as an official party candidate at the next election to actual blackmail involving nasty secrets. Margaret Thatcher introduced an innovation in prime-ministerial blackmail known as "collective responsibility."

"Collective responsibility" was the code phrase for a means of blackmailing all of her cabinet into concealing any dissent. The overt meaning was that if the majority of the cabinet reached a decision then all of the cabinet, even the dissenters, had to say they thought it was a wunnerful idea so they all shared the blame if anything went wrong (they were collectively responsible). What it really meant was that if any cabinet member dissented then it would be trumpeted to the press, who would make a meal of it and talk of "party disunity", which would lead to a loss of confidence by voters, which would mean the party lost the next election. It was blackmail pure and simple: "You must all say that you agreed with the decision or I'll take the party down with me. You may or may not retain your seats in the next election but even if you do you'll be in the minority party without any power."

Blair refined the trick. When his cabinet discussed the Millennium Dome not a single one of them wanted it apart from Blair himself. Expanding upon the lesson he learned from Thatcher's example, he basically said that unless they all changed their minds he'd tell the press that his entire cabinet disagreed with him, voter confidence would plummet, and they'd all lose their seats in the next election.

So Blair's cabinet said publicly that they all agreed with what was really a minority (of 1 decision. The cabinet pressured the whips. The whips pressured the MPs. And so the UK government decided not to force the lottery to drop the Millennium Dome.

That's enough to define Blair as a scumbag, all by itself. But the question is why did he stick his neck out like that? The answer is that because an old school chum of his had the contract to construct the Millenium Dome. Blair was a dishonest, lying, thieving scumbag long before he started sucking Dubya's dick.

Of course, the Millennium Dome turned out to be the flop everyone said it would be. A gigantic waste of money.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford - Rot In Hell

No matter what good qualities Ford possessed, one single act means he deserves to rot in Hell (not that I believe there is such a thing, but if there is then Ford should rot there).

Predictably, that act is the pardoning of Nixon. But not so much because of Nixon himself (although Nixon richly deserved impeachment). Nor even for the precedent that it set: "we can't impeach a president for fucking up the country, only for fucking an intern).

The reason Ford's pardon of Nixon was such a terrible thing is because of the shadowy figures behind Nixon. The shadowy figures that were the true cancer on the presidency. The shadowy figures who regrouped and infected the Reagan presidency. One of those shadowy figures then came into the open and became President George Bush the Slightly Smarter. The shadowy figures gained confidence and power with each presidency they infected, culminating in the current reign of pResident George Bush the Fucktard.

Had Nixon been impeached there is a chance that some of those shadowy figures would still be in jail cells instead of aiding and abetting the smirking chimp. Kissinger and his ilk would be serving life sentences for war crimes instead of walking free (except in France, where Kissinger has been convicted of war crimes charges).

It is for this that Ford deserves to rot in hell. And if, as Ford claimed, he had America's best interests at heart when he pardoned Nixon, then he'd agree that he deserved it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Make no mistake, the war on Iraq is no mistake

Don't be misled by the title of this post. The war on Iraq is a war crime. It's a disaster for the vast majority of US citizens. It's a fucking disaster for everyone in Iraq. It's probably going to turn into a disaster for the whole world. But it's not a mistake.

Why do I say it's not a mistake? Because it was planned by Cheney and Wolfowitz back in 1992. It's not the result of faulty intelligence. It's not the result of an error of judgement. It's not the result of miscommunication ("You invaded Iraq? I asked you to get me an order of fries. You must have misheard me.")

And why do I point out what ought, if the mainstream media weren't in Cheney's pocket, to be obvious? Because it means that, as usual, the forces of sanity are fighting the wrong battles. You will never persuade Bush and Cheney that the war is a mistake because for them it wasn't. You will never persuade Bush and Cheney that it's turned into a fucking disaster because it's all going exactly how they want it to. You will never persuade Bush and Cheney to pull out and save American lives because they don't give a flying fuck for the lives of US soldiers. As Rumsfeld said, the troops are "fungible" (meaning if one wears out or breaks you can just requisition another one).

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until people wake up: the Bush administration is not stupid. Bush might have the knowledge, intelligence and emotional stability of a retarded five-year-old with ADHD, but Cheney is running the show, aided and abetted by people like Rove and the rest of the neocons. And everything is going exactly according to their plans.

Where almost everyone makes a gigantic mistake is in assuming that the Bush maladministration has the good of the American people as its primary objective. Get real. Of course they don't. Their objectives are:

  • Turn the US into a fascist dictatorship with them in control.
  • Make their obscenely rich buddies and backers obscenely richer.
  • Steal the world's oil.

If you work on the assumption that Bush and Cheney are trying to do what's best for America you have to conlude that they're stupid, incompetent fucktards; if you oppose them based on that assumption you'll never be rid of them. That's what they want you to do, because you're falling for the feint and leaving yourself wide open to the real thrust of their attack.

Look at just two of their past tricks.

  • Stole the 2000 election using many different tactics, including voter intimidation. The tame press focused on "butterfly ballots" and "hanging chads," which meant the the trojan horse of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) went through unopposed. A trojan horse because it caused electronic voting machines (programmed by corrupt Bush supporters) to be used almost universally.

  • Leaked the true details of Bush being AWOL from TANG. All the liberals gloated when Dan Rather broadcast them: at last the true nature of Bush was revealed and the voters would turn away from him. Then it came to light that the documents used by Rather might be fakes. That was enough to turn the whole issue into a discussion not of Bush's cowardice but of Rather's competence, thereby defusing the whole situation.

So let's be clear about Iraq. It was planned back in 1992. Then-Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney asked then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz to draft a strategy report. Shorn of military and political euphemisms, the report basically said that the US should invade Iraq to steal its oil, then use Iraq as a forward base to invade all the surrounding oil-rich countries so their oil can be stolen too. The war on Iraq was no mistake.

Under international law, the US must leave Iraq as soon as the country is stabilized. Under international law, the US cannot leave Iraq until the country is stabiliized. Cheney wants to stay in Iraq until not only is its oil sucked dry but the oil of the surrounding countries is sucked dry. Chaos in Iraq suit's Cheney's plans. It is no mistake.

There is a toll in life, of course, but Iraqis are "sand niggers" and don't count to the racist GOP. Nor do the lives of US troops because none of them are the relatives of rich and powerful Republicans. Nor is there any danger of running out of military personnel, even without a draft: Bush has flushed the US economy down the shitter so fast and so hard that there was a sonic boom at the sewerage works. For a lot of poor, hungry people the only hope of employment is in the military.

Before the war the oil companies all stated that they opposed the war because it was likely to disrupt oil production and therefore be bad for business. Oil production was disrupted. Prices went up. In the years since this illegal war started, all the oil companies have reported record profits. Of course, it's no surprise that the oil companies lied back then: they're such liars that they refused to take an oath when testifying to the Senate (and were later shown to have—surprise—lied to the Senate).

Bush and Cheney really, really want the power to torture Iraqis. Not because it gains them usable information (it doesn't and they wouldn't use the information if it did). All that torture does is inflame the Iraqis and the entire Islamic world. Which is exactly what Cheney wants. Remember, the US is not allowed by international law to leave Iraq while it is in chaos, and Cheney doesn't want to leave Iraq. No mistake there, and the "leaking" of the Abu G'hraib photos was probably deliberate.

Inflaming the Islamic world is an added bonus because most of the Islamic world just happens to sit on vast reserves of oil. It would not be surprising if other Islamic countries perpetrated terrorist attacks on US soil (or the attack was a domestic creation that was attributed to Iran or Syria or Libya or Nigeria). No mistake there.

There are fourteen permanent military bases (except they're no longer called "permanent" because that word caused too many ripples) in Iraq. Bases which can be used as staging posts to invade surrounding oil-rich countries. The US is constructing its largest embassy in the world there. Far, far larger than it need be if it's to be purely an embassy (Iraq is not the largest country by area or population, nor does it have the largest number of civilian US visitors). But it is of an appropriate size if it is to be used as a regional administrative HQ for the US's newly-acquired (by invasion) oil serfdoms.

Iraq is all going exactly to the plans drawn up by Cheney and Wolfowitz in 1992. See the excellent PNAC Primer for the sordid details. PNAC, the Project for a New American Century is a neocon thinktank with a membership that is comprised of key figures in the Bush administration and those who exert significant influence upon it: Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Rumsfeld, JEB Bush, etc.

In the PNAC Primer you'll also see that PNAC issued a policy document in 2000 calling for (again, I'll translate the euphemisms) the transformation of the US military into a force of marauding pillagers who'd go around stealing the world's resources (primarily oil). It notes that:

[...] the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.

You might recall that because of the similarities (attack without warning on US soil, around 3,000 casualties) 9/11 was frequently labelled "a second Pearl Harbor" and "a new Pearl Harbor."

Imagine that! Because of the Bush Maladministration's seeming incompetence, Cheney gets his wet dream of a decade turned into a reality. It couldn't have worked out any better for him had he planned it all himself.

So if you persist in thinking of this bunch of evil bastards as incompetent and stupid then the result of your opposition to them will be that one day you'll wake up to find their jackboots kicking your teeth down your throat. We don't stand a chance of fixing things if people persist in thinking that the war in Iraq is a dreadful mistake rather than a coldly cynical, evil action.

BTW, don't congratulate yourselves that the Dems took control of Congress. Liebold machines, voter intimidation and the like mean that Cheney could have retained control if he wanted to. The conclusion is that he didn't need to. I can think of the following possiblities as to why he might not feel such a need:

  • The public isn't too smart, so when Iraq is still a fucking mess in 2008 they'll blame the Democrats.

  • The illegal NSA wiretapping of Democrat congresscritters has turned up enough blackmail material that Cheney can still get Congress to do whatever he wants. This illusion of cross-party support is something most dictatorships like to foist upon the world.

  • Imposition of martial law in response to another horrific terrorist attack on US soil effectively makes Bush resident-for-life.

Take your pick, or come up with an alternative. Because you can bet this bunch of evil fuckers will not give up power without a struggle, and they could have stolen the mid-terms as easily as they stole the last two presidential elections.

Just remember that they're not stupid or incompetent, they're fucking evil and we have a small chance of foiling their plans. Fall for the "Bush makes yet another mistake in calling for a surge" headlines and we're all fucked.