Monday, September 16, 2013

"No Choice" Outsiders Import Phony "Christian" Sharia to Subjugate Albuquerque Women

The Psycho Reality
of NM's "No Choice" Army From Kansas

Normally, MeanMesa is a very genteel, soft spoken sort of blog, but in this instance a tiny bit of the old fire has found a home in these geriatric bones.  When that tantalizing fragrance of bodies burning on the stake and that alluring thud of stones "redeeming" a fallen woman reach these old nose and ears, the exquisitely simple thought of "enough is enough" seems to become an inescapable conclusion.

Enough is enoughGive me a break,

The holy army of "Christian Love." (image source)
Of course, we have all seen the medieval depths to which our neighboring state, that is, Kansas, has plunged in its faux Old Testament legislative "tent  revival," but oozing that fetid ancient hatred and fear into Albuquerque is, well, the "enough" part of...
"enough is enough."

There are plenty of single issue "no choice" voters in Albuquerque -- more than enough to slide this regurgitated, imported, legislative trash onto a local ballot.  There is also a more than adequate cess pool of political cynicism on the suspiciously ALEC controlled -- now sporting an unelected Republican majority -- city council to shoe horn this monstrosity into a cravenly scheduled single issue election most likely to be held very, very, extremely, quietly on a day lost amid the long dreary doldrums of a New Mexico November chill.

It's nothing new. This is a "perfect wave" of the same old, sickening, ALEC machinations that are designed to ram pre-written, "contracted" laws straight from wing nut think tanks down the throats of a distracted electorate.  Quite aside from the local "no choice" band wagon, this same outfit brought the "stand your ground law" to Florida just in time for the killer, Zimmerman, to do his handiwork.  

ALEC is writing state laws so fast that you'd think you were reading a roll of toilet paper -- "sponsored" laws to disenfranchise registered voters, break unions and cut public education spending in two dozen states.  The anti-democracy, ALEC cracker running Michigan is trying to auction off the contents of the Detroit Museum of Fine Art to his billionaire cronies for a dime on the dollar.

Disabuse yourselves of any lingering possibility that these Kansan "vaginal control carpet baggers" have any shade of legitimacy in their origins.  The corporate sponsors are in control of ALEC, and ALEC is essentially in direct control of the State of Kansas, now pumping, under direct ALEC orders no doubt, car loads of equally crazed anti-abortion zealots into Albuquerque.

And in New Mexico the state wide and Bernalillo County GOP ALEC gangs are salivating over the prospect of injecting themselves even further into the local government in Albuquerque -- an action in direct contradiction to the majority Party affiliations seen in the votes in Albuquerque elections.  The NM Catholic Bishops are "carrying the water" for these smelly, rag tag invaders.

"Operation Rescue?" Abortion, Inc.

The puppet masters who are pulling the strings on this rolling gypsy passion play LOVE abortion, anti-abortion, early term abortion, late term abortion, rape and incest abortion -- or, no rape and incest abortion,  the shimmering violence of burning abortion clinics and the bullet riddled corpses of abortion doctors assassinated in their church pews.  All this high drama stuff is the proprietary work product of "Abortion, Inc." think tanks.

This is a hack political career opportunity for them -- just keep the single issue hill billies frothing at the mouth, do a little cynical gerrymandering and your client "candidate" will be in office for all eternity -- regardless of the voters.

Sometimes, while pondering the nature of the "home nest" of these state-to-state travelling trailer park weirdos, our fantasy fixes on a serene monastery at the top of some mountain or a hard working crowd in a busy community organizing office deep in some city.  Forget it.  The home office of "Abortion Inc." is in the board room of some billionaire's "hobby lobby" or the tactics room of some combo lawyer/PR firm.

It's all business.

Above the rank of second lieutenant in this organization none of these busy little hate merchants has ever worried a single moment about a fetus.  They know that the franchise operation that signs their pay checks sells boiling hot or, perhaps, hysterically sobbing, anti-abortionists of every possible ilk who can be used to populate their heavily subsidized "protest rallies,"  you know, the ones where 100 people show up in buses with pre-printed signs to parade their "spontaneous outrage" in front of 200 television cameras which were also furnished by the franchise.

Think of them as something similar to the tea bags, but the owners of "Abortion, Inc." know better than to let any of the "bus riding little people" do the spelling.

Facing Facts

Fact 1:  For the mortally wounded, heavily soiled, NM state GOP anti-abortion zealots are a dependable bloc of base voters which requires astonishingly little maintenance. MeanMesa is a close acquaintance with one of these dependable "walking ballots."  

Her vote is a sure thing.  It will be right there -- regardless of a candidate's campaign, record, abilities or anything else -- on election day.  This friend has a shocking antipathy to any information about the US economy, US foreign policy, US Congressional activity and even today's reports of US weather patterns, but when a drawling cracker utters the words "anti-abortion," he can count on her vote.

Fact 2:  The Bishops have a gigantic stake in this election issue.  They may be fairly quiet in the public commercial airwaves, but sitting deep in their fully funded, tax exempt cloisters they can see the writing on the wall.  The congregation populations in their parishes decline year after year, and their historically suffocating authority over "the faithful" is in tatters.

For example, an estimated 80% of Catholic women in New Mexico routinely use "Liturgically prohibited" birth control.

The Romans have shown no hesitation in forming an "unholy" pact with any politician or religion willing to assist their authoritarian anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda.  After all, during the medieval propaganda extravaganza in California's Proposition 8, the Bishops eagerly added their "campaign contributions" to the Mormon's envelope.

The Roman tactical frenzy in that affair was so apoplectic that none of them showed any remorse for the fact that Pope Urban II was probably turning over in his grave at the alliance.

Fact 3:  The title of this post includes the term "Sharia."  This is not merely an inconsequential product of MeanMesa's over indulgent, geriatric, strident hyperbole.

Sharia Law -- among many other echoes of the Dark Ages -- contains an extensive collection of Islamic "woman control" tenets.  While the focus is very purposefully directed at fetuses in the public discourse of the anti-abortionists, we find an expanded interest lurking just below that odious surface.

The sheep herding patriarchs who cooked up this scheme wanted to a.) preserve the dominant authority of their tribal roles and b.) maintain and reaffirm social authority over the sexual lives of all those in their tribal domains.  The anti-abortion incendiaries are meant to prepare the way for forcing all sexual activity into conformance with Old Testament Mosaic law under judicial enforcement.

In the Bishop's dreams a legally enforced policy of no condoms, no birth control and no abortions builds a fence within which there will be no sex without their patriarchal approval.  The control of sex presents an opportunity for the ultimate preservation of this patriarchal authority.  Beyond the Romans it can be violently promoted by the wildly insecure Wahabists in Saudi Arabia or simply by the dirty shirt preachers from the fields of Kansas, the game -- and the goal -- is the same.

No Problem.  We know how to control women. (image source)

Uttering these forbidden thoughts so openly is -- suspiciously -- considered an almost unforgivable social faux pas in modern culture, but MeanMesa very comfortably "steps up to the plate," as usual.

Albuquerque's Young Men Have a "Dog in This Fight"

MeanMesa is posting these thoughts here as a result of being contacted by a telephone call from RESPECT ABQ WOMEN, the local organization which is working to make certain this wretched proposal doesn't become law by winning an election. [Visit the RESPECT ABQ WOMEN web site by following this link.]

If you happen to be a "non-celibate" Albuquerque young man, go help them out with their public contact campaign. There's no real need to explain why YOU might be working in your own personal interests, not to mention participating in the wider democratic process for your neighbors and your city.

Think of it this way.  If you've met the anti-abortion lady carrying the ultra gross,  super sized, full color poster, squealing like Joshua's trumpet at Jericho and passing out nearly incomprehensible tracts, understand that this is the same woman who wants the law -- her version of what's "right" for you -- to control your choices if you and your girlfriend ever wind up needing one.

The right wing's "war on women" can very easily become a "war on you." Just as much as these -- religious or political -- derelicts from the past are obsessed with controlling women, they are equally obsessed with controlling you.

Make sure that you are registered to vote in this election.

The date for this vote has not been set.  This is straight from the ALEC play book.  If a lot of Albuquerque citizens go the polls, this abortion control law will lose.  If hardly voters any turn out, it will be approved by a few dozen of the "faithful," but it will become law for everyone living here.

The Supreme Court ruled that your girlfriend -- and you -- have legal access to safe, medical abortion if and when you need it, but the Supreme Court, now populated by a majority of wing nut Bush W. political creatures and a majority of Catholics, cannot be counted on to protect your rights.

The current Supreme Court cannot even be counted on to support its previous decisions -- especially not if cash and political favors are involved.  Don't be hypnotized into automatically thinking that you and your girlfriend have access to family planning services -- including abortion.  The anti-abortion thugs from Kansas have other plans for you two.  In their dream the law and the courts will force you to live in accordance to their barely Biblical religious ideas.

Stand with our New Mexico women.  They cannot successfully face this challenge without our active support and active participation.  Fundamentalists, regardless of which religion or which issue, are brutal, functioning on an alien value system, and this is no exception.

Please Send These Crazies Back to Kansas

See, people in Kansas like folks like this bunch.  Folks in Kansas think it's just swell to send this pack of Biblical thugs anywhere that will have them.

It's not.

Defeating this ballot initiative will be worth a thousand words.  The first four of those thousand words will be:

No thanks.
Go home.

Additional Reading

The New York Times has covered the Operation Rescue scam in Albuquerque.

Here's what the "pro-life" ["no choice"] bunch has on their site.

This is a previous post from MeanMesa concerning ALEC New Mexico.

ALEC NM: Anti-Democracy in the High Desert

Sunday, September 15, 2013

US and Syria: A Super Power Primer

America's Super Power "Contract With Reality"
MeanMesa responds to Vladimir Putin's editorial

Any contract stipulates "rights and duties."  That is the nature of contracts.  Generally the terms of such a contract are negotiated between the parties, and once the terms are acceptable, the contract is executed.  After that, the parties are, to a certain extent, bound by the terms they both found agreeable before.

We like to say that the parties are "bound by honor," but here, in a nation which loves laws and litigation for fun and profit, contracts are enforced judicially.  When a court with jurisdiction rules that a contract has been breached, remedy is established, and the "settling the spiff" goes on from there.

Why all this talk about contracts?  About rights and duties?  Even -- about terms which have been negotiated and accepted?

The answer to all these question, especially with respect to really, really big "contracts" is that sometimes there are neither courts, jurisdiction or laws of remedy.  This is the case with the United State's "contract" with the world to fill the role of super power.

We all know how we got here.  After enduring a few nerve rattling decades of ideological MAD [nuclear "mutually assured destruction"] between two super powers -- each with thousands of ICBMs bristling from Kamchatka to Nebraska -- one of those super powers collapsed on its own weight.  For the arithmetically challenged that left one super power, [2-1=1] the United States.

Although the rest of the world never really got to "negotiate terms" with US "super power-hood,"  it turns out the most of the planet's governments were, at least slightly, relieved that this country managed to emerge from the race still standing on its feet.  The US performance in this elevated role has been far from the abstract profile of an perfect "contract partner," but given the choices, the "contract" was generally accepted as desirable over the alternative.

Right here it is important to remember that the old USSR -- now re-imaged as the Russian Federation -- still had thousands of ICBMs the day after the Berlin Wall fell.  We may as well take the opportunity to also remember that both the resurrected version of the old USSR and the matured super power "survivor," the United States, have both embraced "evolved priorities" as they journeyed through the post Cold War seasons.

The old, raw, single issue ideological priorities [Of course, these conflicting issues of ideological purity, while generously touted as the fundamental issue of the Cold War, never really were.] have been reborn primarily as wealth redistribution schemes as Russian and American oligarchies replaced, each in their corresponding countries, the old military commanders as policy directors.

This admittedly abbreviated history of world "super power-hood" is presented here for a purpose.

The roughly sixty year journey from, say, 1950 to now contains the history of modern super powers.  This tells us that for sixty years the citizens of the industrialized world have thought about all sorts of issues in terms reflecting the acknowledgement and full comprehension of the presence and role of super powers in global affairs.

After the official demise of the Soviet Empire in 1990, another twenty or so years have passed in which Americans have understood and accepted the fact that the United States had taken the position as the primary surviving, planetary super power.  There have been plenty of "second string" powers along the way.  These have been large and powerful, but not super powers.  For examples we can consider the Peoples' Republic of China, Japan, the New Russian Federation, NATO and the like.

Over all these years in which both the concept and the reality of nations enjoying such a status were constantly present, other "maturing" changes have occurred in the perception and expectation of the historic implications of the phenomenon.  The recent geopolitical morass of the Syrian crisis has revealed some rather interesting observations of the state of both the phenomenon itself and the widely help perceptions of it.

A confusing clutch of poorly similar historical comparisons flew out from the networks almost immediately. Previous events such as Clinton in Kosovo, Obama in Libya, Reagan in Lebanon and Thatcher in the Falklands were all proffered up to establish public recognition of the gravity of Syrian intervention and to spur fleeting memories to recall the corresponding justifications which accompanied the state violence in each case.

However, along side these relatively painless memories of "comparatively more modest" military adventures and their widely varied respective successes were the devastating nightmares of Afghanistan and Iraq.  These Bush W. disasters could only generously be characterized as "elephants in the living room." Realistically considered they, instead, invited alternate idiom metaphors such as the "vulture in the canary cage."

The scope and scale of the Bush W. calamities rose quite above the other, short term adventures in that list.  Each of the stumbling Bush W. political adventures was agonizingly transformed into a murderous meat grinder which ran for decades while producing nothing which could particularly be assessed as a victory or a loss.  Quite contrary to the hyperbolic rhetoric which accompanied both expeditions at their outset, both of the victim countries now holds a cordial terror and hatred for the United States.

The Syrian crisis has "brought the broken egg back to the nest" with respect to the background presumptions Americans have about their super power status -- its worth, its responsibilities, its price, its advantages and its dangerous potential.  Now, with this in hand, we're ready to consider both the traditional definition of "super power-hood," and the actual, profoundly confused, modern manifestation of American "super power-hood."

 The 1991 "Dream" of US Super Power "Orthodoxy"

We have to indulge our fantasies just a little here.  To make the point of this post, we must do our best to imagine what might have been the answer had we asked an American in 1991 to describe the "new ideal" of super power behavior one could expect now that the Cold War had ended, that is, roughly, what kind of international player did we think the US should become once it had prevailed in the struggle.

Naturally, one of the first comments might have been concerning the constant danger level of the previous phase.

"I'm really glad that the Soviets have dropped out of the contest.  It's been terrifying to think about being vaporized by an incoming SS-18 at any minute for most of my life."

However, once the prospect of "geo-political peace" had taken root for a year or so, our commentator may well have turned to more abstract facets of the "new normal."

"Now that we will no longer need to pour every spare nickel and dime into our strategic nuclear arsenal, we'll have resources freed up to really get to work improving conditions both for ourselves and for the people on the planet.  There's are plenty of problems which need to be addressed."

"It's also surprisingly nice to retire in the evening with almost no chance of being suddenly incinerated."

"Now that the United States is the sole remaining super power, I'm beginning to really believe all those things about our country being 'exceptional.'  This means that all sorts of historic American social cultural propositions -- you know, things such as 'free enterprise,' the Monroe Doctrine, efficient government, 'unfettered capitalism,' and so on -- have been 'proven' with the test of time."

"In fact, it turns out that our American ideals and processes have been validated to an extent from which they will never again require any more arduous 'soul searching' or uncertainty. 

Boy Howdy!  We've finally gotten it right!"

Compassionate, Inspired, Idealistic, Planetary Altruism

The Cold War providing a sort of "birthing creche" to hone the competitive talents of the players.  Of course, the science of ICBM's, various styles of h-bombs and the conventional arms technology for the Warsaw Pact and NATA were the obvious contested matches, but below this bellicose surface, an equally competitive race developed for non-military things.

As a nation we had already passed through the phase where we imagined that ourselves and our incredibly powerful nuclear might could be transformed into a "planet saving gift" driven by our -- by then famous -- geopolitical altruism.

We could blast harbors, dams and even farmland into existence where none had been before.  Once we began to use our nuclear bombs "for good" instead of "evil," we could usher in  a new prosperity for everyone with the good sense to cooperate with us.

The "space race," born of the seed of SPUTNIK, expanded beyond the purely military to encompass the partially scientific, the partially ideological propaganda and the partially military industrial economic. The competition offered another "heady brew" which could excite the mass populations of civilian "cold warriors" into the contemplation of a bright style of "science fiction" future while still not straying too far afield from the real business of MAD - mutual assured destruction.

Returning to our interview, we might have heard just a bit more of the optimism about this super power's future.

"It's become clear that our technology is on the verge of solving everything!  Why, thanks to all the left over Cold War rocket parts and Star Trek, we're officially on our way to colonize outer space with our capitalistic culture!"

"Further, now that the rest of the world is completely convinced that we are not only so incredibly powerful, but also, so incredibly 'right,' we should expect that our country will be loved and respected by just about everybody.  All sorts of other countries will be simply overjoyed when they see US business interests showing up at their doors because they will know that a prosperity and security quite similar to our own will be just around the corner."

The 2013 "Super Power Toothache"
Cancer Stage Capitalism - where dreams went to die.

The United States population, it turns out, didn't do such a great job of maturing into the potential "super power force for good" that we had envisioned in 1990.  Instead, we succumbed to a number of the temptations which accompanied that fleetingly secure status, sliding into something quite removed from our indulgent, yet perhaps fallacious, over estimations of the possibilities for both ourselves and our world.

Although the following over view of these undesirable developments may seem somewhat harsh, please bear in mind that MeanMesa has "orbited the sun" throughout this entire, dismal chapter of homo sapien history.  This post's foul, geriatric reflection was precipitated by domestic events in the Syrian crisis, but the unsettling relevance extends far beyond that relatively minor occurrence.

Let's consider the failings of Americans who find themselves as citizens responsible with duties required to operate a more or less representative super power government.  Under the constant editorial threat of being overly dramatic and maudlin, we can compare these defective areas to the infamous "Seven Deadly Sins."  Of course, these are not the equivalent of the "high stakes" Biblical sins, but as far as running a representative super goes, they are gravely serious.

1. Cultural Fear and Demands for Certainty

The Syria incident revealed how incredibly intimidated Americans were with respect to risking anything whatsoever in the pursuit of national goals.  When the question of "arming the rebels" arose, Americans were willing only so long as there would be no possibility of "arming the wrong people."

Of course, much of this trepidation was directly engineered by the right wing think tanks and the subservient media, but by the time the gutless wonders in the Congress had finished exploiting the predictable wave of public opinion which the scheme had generated, the bold President was left, essentially, without a constituency to support his arms supplies and Tomahawk missile threat -- threats which, it turns out, were absolutely necessary for the consummation of any rational, material progress with the crisis.

Likewise, when the Russian Federation finally offered material assistance with the chemical weapons problem, the same think tanks and the same subservient media immediately went to work sabotaging the White House again.  The clear message was dismally consistent: trust no one; the President is being manipulated; and,  the Russians and the Syrians are setting a trap.

The US - Russian Federation match up is detente' between two respective groups of oligarchs.  The lower classes are mere cannon fodder.  However, even in this perilous power structure, yet one last distinction can be proposed.

The Russian oligarchs are a bit livelier than their American counter parts.  Most of them clawed their way to top of the economic ladder fairly recently -- after the Soviet system's death.  In the United States most of the billionaires inherited their fortunes from fathers who began earlier.

Unfortunately, the masses of the world and certainly the masses of these nations continue to pretend that the power to direct policy remains with the electorate.
While the President was playing high stakes chess with the "big boys," the country was screaming uncontrollably about the dangers, the lack of easily recognizable, painfully simple objectives, and a plenitude of poorly formulated, crassly imagined, emotional similarities to the military disasters of the autocracy.

Facts meant nothing.

The possible vindication of national ideals was frenetically mixed with everything from ObamaCare, abortion to gun control by malicious players such as Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Reilly and redefined as "unrealistic, impossible and unrealistic."  These same fear mongering voices pursue literal careers directed at relieving Americans of any impulse toward idealism and replacing this with desperate survivalism.

Yet these fear mongers run unchecked.

Terrified pragmatists, after all, become willing to do almost anything in their frantic search for refuge or security, and, thus, are far more easily manipulated.  This kind of incessant fear driven hysteria hardly represents the foundation for a great nation to pursue great policies.

A super power driven by a population devoid of ideals has a predictably desolate future.

2. Social Obsession with Guarantees and Control

Many attributes of codependent behavior were on display.  Perhaps foremost among them in this recent case was an almost psychopathic resistance to taking any chances of any size or any sort with any national policy on Syria.  Codependents have a fundamental psychology which tells them that they are not in control and cannot be.  This constant voice convinces them that any behavior of any type which might -- even possibly -- offer such control is entirely justifiable.

Codependents, although they may act otherwise, abhor responsibility.  Rather than looking for solutions to the challenges they face, they seek targets for blame.  When we consider rhetoric designed to exploit this failing, we suddenly find ourselves facing the right wing media's editorial policy.

The maxim used to be "if it bleeds, it leads," but the modern media's form is "if it terrifies or spurs hopeless mistrust, it leads."  This practice can only produce its desired results when its audience is codependent.

One additional attribute of this codependent behavior is an almost primal fear of confrontation. Moments of confrontation, as seen by codependents, are moments leading to an entirely uncertain [out of control...] outcome.

Rather than proclamations of what might be "right," we observed the constant reversion to references of "international law," "crimes against humanity" and the like -- as if firmly attaching one of the extremely genteel labels to the Syrian monsters would present a final and lasting solution to our displeasure -- and as if there was someone somewhere who might perform and enforce that solution.

We forgot that the reason such vocabulary might produce such results is also the precise leverage a super power player might lend to the balance.  Calling people names doesn't matter much in this modern world, but threats of Tomahawk missiles raining down does.

The American public is codependent, a frame of mind not at all useful in the direction and operation of a super power stateThat state of mind is dangerously indulgent, and it was made acceptable or even possible as a result of "never having to say you're sorry."

3. Avarice and Opportunism Justified by Power

The rapaciously obedient domestic media has not over looked even the slightest opportunity to proclaim Americans and the country as "victims" of the violent and outrageous behavior of others.  Not to grant too much credibility to Putin's diatribe [Putin's NYT op ed], we may still have to agree with him on this one.

With an overpowering media effort since the autocracy's nationalistic dichotomies of the 9/11 era, Americans no longer comprehend even the possibility  that much of the world is a "victim" of our treatment.

Ranging unfettered under the cloak of US super power status, our fellow travellers -- American corporatists -- have ruthlessly exploited almost every world nation unable to resist their avarice.  Why should we be shocked when decades of festering animosity suddenly reaches an explosive state?  We've purloined oil, minerals, parasitic trade agreements and cheap, abused labor, transporting the generated wealth back here to the pockets of our oligarchs.

Frankly, we did things which would never have been possible without the protective shield of our super power might.  Without it, all along the way we would have faced resistance not only to such practices, but we would have faced open condemnation for even considering such practices.  In more than a few cases, our mercantile actions would have incited national military responses, but as a super power, our "free market" corporatists were given a preemptory "get out of jail free" card.

Our early dream of being a super power included a certain restraint, a certain discretion in dealing with the world.  This part of our super power dream vaporized almost immediately with the hypnotic availability of overwhelming military intervention when things -- including business matters -- "headed south."

4. Failure to Restrain Corporations, Billionaires and Political Corruption

It's only natural that creatures such as oligarchs and the ones we find too often in corporate board rooms, once having tasted the rewards of the market economy, turn their eyes toward "gaming the system."  In the case of the United States this takes the shape of political influence, and recently that shape has grown to a grotesque level.

For example, during the Eisenhower Presidency the US economy was very successful.  Granted, war-making with the Soviets turned out to be a great business opportunity, but amid the remainder of the economy we saw CEOs and bankers making business decisions based on platforms which included the national interest, often at a higher position than their own profits.

For these businessmen success and profit models were founded on the existing legislative "rules of the day."  When the allure of "gaming the system" reached its current state of full obsession -- usually while the country was under Republican "management" -- these same success and profit models came to be based on controlling the "rules of the day."  Everyone else lost.

The lethal high stakes competition with the Soviets encouraged American business to play by the rules because during that time they existed under the constant enforcement of supporting this country.  A loss to Soviet expansionism would have been "bad for business," bit it would also have effectively curtailed any prospect of both future successes or even anything resembling a satisfying, prosperous life as an individual here.

We don't have to wonder who this is. (image)
Protected by US super power military and economic might, opportunistic American business interests demonstrated an opportunistic arrogance leading to an almost equally outrageously "mercantile fever." The predictable animus resulting severely complicated idealistic goals and the super power's constructive potential, and -- especially with case of supporting local dictators -- alienating vast populations.  Giving free reign to American business to exploit populations and nations unable to resist was a horrible policy reminiscent of the 1800's "

For anyone suspecting that this is an over statement, consider the anti-democracy intervention in Iran decades ago and the current fear and hatred still resulting from it.

No matter how magnificent your military and economic power, other people still count.  Avarice may construct a convenient, temporary "disconnect" between the two, but, inevitably, reality will ultimately balance the equation.

5. Isolationism and Risk Aversion

Obama addressed this during the 2008 primary campaign as he referenced the popular descent into "guns, god and gays" among the low information electorate. His observation was that these "easier isolationist priorities" had replaced the slightly more difficult -- but incredibly more necessary -- alternative of basing decisions on larger and more rational issues. "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." [read the article here]

The shocking American isolationism revealed during the Syrian crisis is the traditional "tip of the iceberg" with respect to so many other "popular opinions" held by the US electorate.  Americans watched the videos of the atrocity and dutifully proclaimed how disgusted they were by it, but the emotions seemed to stop there -- some miles still distant from a willingness to actually, well, take action.

Arguments supporting a strike that were justified by the prospect of similar attacks threatening American troops in some future conflict dropped from sight as the overly nervous, incredibly short sighted, memory impaired Americans marched in zombie-like legions to proclaim "No War."  No one seemed to realize -- or even make an effort to realize -- that the President was doing everything possible to avoid exactly that.

Even Assad and Putin were apparently doing all they could to avoid "war."

But none of this held any value for the suddenly peace-loving mob mentality already set totally aflame thanks to the over simplification of reporting by the controlled media.  Ideals were simply too expensive and dangerous to enter into the consideration. The artfully engineered "survival desperation," although materially lacking any particular justification, was in full sway. Mistrust was nearing 100% even though this President had a record of actually accomplishing foreign policy goals which included the use of the military.

This rather cheaply manipulated timidity on the part of the American people may be evidence of their exhaustion after being so mistreated by the careening motives of the recent autocracy, but it shows no evidence of the traditional strength of will and confidence which would seem to be expected by the population of a super power, even after set backs which were, interestingly, absent in this case.

6. Decades of Peace Left Americans Uninterested in Real War

Even as far back as WWII the continental United States has never experienced the wide spread damage inflicted by military aggression conducted by other states.  This is the history which explains our country's  obscure over reaction to the attacks on 9/11.  It also explains the strategic values which were selected as particularly vulnerable while that attack was being designed by its perpetrators -- where ever and whom ever they may have been.

The country's significant military and diplomatic prowess was fully displayed in its emergence from the real terror of the Cold War, but in no time, the relief experienced then was transformed into a stoic lack of interest by Americans with respect to foreign policy.  The twenty years of the Vietnam War presents ample evidence of this.

That conflict was distant and, at least as it began, quite under reported.  The Presidential and Congressional leadership also remained fairly "un-opinionated" until actual media reporting began to transmit the horror of it into American living rooms -- and ballot boxes.  The elitist policy for military conscription bothered Americans almost as much as the pictures and stories about combat.

Still, having apparently forgotten the historical facts of the last half century, modern Americans would have difficulty in even so much as pointing to Syria on a globe.  To test this premise, ask your conversation partners to explain a few things.

"Where is Aleppo?  Homs?  Who is Lavrov?  Who is Assad?  How did he become dictator of Syria?  Which ethnic, religious and political groups make up Syria's population?  Who are the warring parties in the civil war?  Why does the President want to attack?" and so on.

Why no one knows what's happening. (image source)
MeanMesa predicts that you will almost immediately note a shocking lack of current information [see number seven -- below -- on this list] but also a grotesque lack of interest.

A super power inevitably moves around in the world -- in a sense, performing "super power" duties.  These are not blissfully discretionary, either, that is, there are actual responsibilities involved which dictate what at least some of those duties might be.

If you're still in the dark with this, return your thoughts to the possibility of actual national ideals.  Next, think carefully.  "Whose interests would be served by our abandoning those ideals?"

Even more unsettling, "What priorities would direct the policies of a super power as an alternative to direction based on priorities representing national ideals?"

George W. Bush taught us many things, but importantly, he taught us that the quality of national leadership for a super power means almost everything -- not just for this super power nation, but for the world.  We are responsible for our own future.  We meet that responsibility by demanding that our national behavior be consistent with our national ideals.

7. The End of Cold War Competition Fostered Being Uncompetitive

Embarrassingly, the very politically active "Syria question" revealed far more about the American electorate than anyone here would have wished.  Once the controversy began, that is, once the "go ahead" was received in the editorial rooms of the domestic corporate media, our national stupidity was splayed forth into the limelight in a glittering, and, for the rest of the world, probably unsettling, display for the remainder of the world to see.

Think of it as making our national "exceptionalism" public.

One unavoidable aspect of this extravaganza was "Obama phobia" effortlessly crowding out all other priorities -- such alternate focal points as national security, foreign policy execution and national cohesion, not to mention, high school geography.  The usual collection of intellectually challenged "mouth junk talkers" waddled up to their right wing microphones and "set their chickens free."

In no time the drifting invectives had migrated from any actual discussion of the issue to the right wing's favorite, incendiary things.  The racism was so palpable that one needed to cut through it with a knife.  The right wing's base -- the hill billlies and drawling bigots -- immediately infested the social media like locusts on a fall barley crop.

In fact on one occasion the normally reserved and temperate MeanMesa responded sarcastically to one Face Book comment with "We just can't allow the Negro to send the army out again."

That comment was met with "Damned right. That ain't American."

This is presented here as an example of an unpleasant excursion into the frayed remnant of political discourse in contemporary America.  However, even a fleeting audio visit to one of the broadcast hate factories more than explains the comment.

Of course we expect these predictable outcomes in a nation with a failed public education system, text books furnished by the Texas State Board of Education and a spectacular void of actual political discourse.  It's hardly a case of a lamenting reminiscence from citizens who remember "the old days when we actually discussed these important things."

It's been so long now that hardly anyone can remember.  Our modern collective mental process has the depth perception of a 140 word limit Tweet.

Worse, being "educated" and being "informed" have come to be known as discretionary indulgences.  All this might be an advantage for a super power directed by an un-answering, un-contradictable autocratic authority, but for a super power still more or less controlled by a representative democracy and constituent opinion, this similarity to a "rudderless  battleship" -- one raging at full speed with an uninterested captain who is both frightened and angry -- spells real trouble.

Being "educated" and being "informed" as a super power citizen have a direct bearing on the success -- and validity -- of the state.  Collectively these high priority responsibilities have been sorely neglected within the United States, and the Syria crisis, with or without Putin's admonitions, reveal this in stark clarity.

A MeanMesa Note to President Putin

You mentioned "growing trust."  We're wary, but ready.

MeanMesa's compliments to the President.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

MeanMesa to President Obama: Solving Syria

Tempting Congress onto the Tightrope

President Obama's "maneuver" to deliver the prospect of Syrian intervention to the Congress has "delivered back" the predictable maelstrom of influence bartering, religion, politics and a motley collection of haphazard preconceptions carefully crafted for the "convenience" of the American public.  The inescapable conclusion materializing from the thing's progress so far is not promising.

The scope and scale of the original plan for a surgical, limited strike to deter the regime from further chemical weapons attacks has been transformed into an unworkable, "committee driven" hodge podge which seems destined to enjoy an even shakier possibility of success in the "real world" than even the admittedly shaky policy in its original, politically unadulterated  form.

Immediately sacrificing any possibility for progress was an easy price for the recalcitrant Democrats, Obama-hating Republicans, make-do isolationists and the remaining insecure politicians of either party to embrace given the poll numbers and well designed public hostility to the plan.  Still, "those in the know" continue to suggest that the Congress will -- in the end -- agree to some sort of action, albeit, by the time they have satisfied all the paralyzing fears among the bodies, the result may be anything but what was initially intended.

So, what exactly will the President do with the surviving tatters which finally make it back to the Oval Office?  One of the most "upsetting" outcomes already presented is that, regardless of the condition of the thing by then, Obama will simply proceed under full legal cover of the Constitution to execute his duties as Commander in Chief.

MeanMesa's Advice

While handing the question over to the uncertain priorities of Congress was one of the most widely publicised acts the President has taken in his second term, it proposes a model for an even more extravagant solicitation of public will -- except this time, world wide.

Go see Putin.
Have a meeting.

Invite the President of the Russian Federation to a "summit meeting" on the Syrian crisis, perhaps in, say, Turkey or Jordan.  Further, make this invitation extremely public.

Very publicly pronounce that the purpose of the summit is to formulate some type of cooperative plan upon which both parties might agree which will resolve the Sarin gas problem without the military strike.  President Putin has openly stated that he remains unconvinced that the Assad regime actually conducted the attack.

Here is an excerpt from an Associated Press/Channel One interview with the Russian President.

Situation in Syria

Associated Press: Thank you very much for inviting us to your house and finding time to answer a few questions for our large audience.
A G20 summit will take place this week. This will be very interesting. I would like to start with Syria. President Obama said he would wait for Congress to approve an operation in Syria. What do you think about the alleged use of chemical weapons there? And what do you think needs to be done in this respect?
Vladimir Putin: We can’t say for sure what happened. We think we should at least wait for the UN inspectors to give their report. We don’t have any evidence showing that it was the regular army of the Syrian government that used those chemicals. We don’t even know at this point if those were chemical weapons or just some hazardous chemicals). Besides, as I said elsewhere, we think it would be totally absurd for the regular government forces to use banned chemicals weapons in a situation where they have encircled the so-called ‘rebels’ in certain areas and basically are about to finish them off. They are fully aware of the fact that such a step would mean sanctions, including even the use of military force. This is just absurd. It doesn’t make any sense. That’s the first point. 

Second, we think that if someone has evidence proving that chemical weapons have been used and that it was the regular army that used them, they should present this evidence to the UN Security Council – to the inspectors and to the Security Council. And this evidence has to be compelling. It should not be just hearsay, just some conversations intercepted by the intelligence service. Even in the US, some experts think the evidence presented by the administration is not compelling. It is possible that the opposition staged a provocation in order to give their patrons an excuse for a military intervention. 

AP: We saw video records of children suffering from poisoning. Have you seen those videos? What’s your response?
V. Putin: The videos you’re referring to of children who had allegedly been killed in this chemical attack are just horrific. However the question is, who did it, what exactly was done, and whose fault was it? Those videos don’t answer these questions. There’s an opinion that this compilation was made by a group of militants who as both the US Administration and we know are associated with Al-Qaeda. We also know that they have always been notoriously ruthless. 

Still I’d like to point out that there are no parents, women or medical personnel in those pictures, which you would have noticed at a closer look. Who are those people, and what really happened there? This question remains open. Certainly, those pictures are just hideous, but they don’t prove anyone guilty. This incident obviously has to be investigated. We would like to know who was responsible for these atrocities. 

AP: What would Russia’s position be if you became convinced that the chemical attack was launched by the Syrian government? Would you agree to military action?
V. Putin: I won’t rule this out. But let me draw your attention to one absolutely essential thing (principle circumstance). Under international law the only body that can authorize using weapons against a sovereign state is the UN Security Council. Any other reasons and methods to justify the use of force against an independent and sovereign state are unacceptable and they can be seen as nothing but aggression. 

AP: I see your reasoning in this regard. But I do wonder, when there is a question mark about who committed these crimes, whether Russia should distance itself from the Assad government and maybe hold up its shipments of arms?
V. Putin: We will not come up with a response unless we get the exact information on who committed these crimes. Speculating and rushing to promise we will do a certain thing would be totally wrong. You don’t do that in politics. But let me assure you that we will take a compelling stand, as we firmly believe that the use of weapons of mass destruction is a crime. 

But there is also another question. If there is evidence that it’s the militants that have been using WMD, what will the US do to them? What will these sponsors do? Will they stop weapons supplies? Will they start hostilities against the militants? 

Vladimir Putin in Novo-Ogaryovo during an interview to Channel One and The Associated Press (RIA Novosti / Alexei Druzhinin)
Vladimir Putin in Novo-Ogaryovo during an interview to Channel One and The Associated Press (RIA Novosti / Alexei Druzhinin) 

AP: I think John Kerry said that anyone who stands by when these crimes are done will have to answer to history. I’m sure that you and Russia and the US would be included in that. But are you afraid that you may be seen today as standing by a regime that is oppressing and committing crimes? Is there a danger that you will be seen as a protector of this government?
V. Putin: We are not defending the current Syrian government. We are defending other things entirely. We are defending the principles and norms of international law. We are defending the current world order. We are defending the rule that even a possibility of using force must be discussed within the framework of existing world order and international law. This is what we are defending. This is the absolute value. When decisions concerning the use of force are made outside the UN and the Security Council, it raises a concern that such illegal actions could be taken against any country under any pretext. 

You’ve just said that Mr. Kerry believes that it was Assad’s forces that used chemical weapons, but the secretary of state in Mr. Bush’s administration was trying to convince the international community that Iraq had chemical weapons in a similar fashion. He even showed us a test tube with white powder in it. The argument turned out to be invalid, but a military operation was conducted based on it – a military operation many in the US now call a mistake. Have we forgotten that? Are we proceeding from the assumption that new mistakes are so easy to avoid? I assure you, it is not so. Everyone remembers what happened, and they take it into account when making their decisions. 

AP: As I understand, you don’t believe the evidence that has been offered so far is convincing. What would it take to convince you?
V. Putin: We would be convinced by a detailed investigation and by direct evidence of who exactly used chemical weapons and what substances were used. Then we’ll be ready to take decisive and serious action. 

Channel 1: Vladimir Vladimirovich, is Russia still fulfilling weapons contracts signed with Syria?
V. Putin: Yes, of course. We are doing this because we believe that we are working with the legitimate government and we are violating neither international law nor our obligations. The UN has not imposed any restrictions on the export of weapons to Syria. We feel so bad that Syrian militants have been receiving weapons without any restrictions from the very first day of this conflict, despite the fact that it is against international law to supply weapons to any party engaged in a military conflict. 

[MeanMesa note:  Read the entire interview here. Although it is rather long, the gravity of the present moment makes it worthwhile.]

Directly behind these statements we find the possibility for a Syrian solution.  

MeanMesa claims no reasonable or credible standing to assert whether or not President Putin was speaking with sincerity or with duplicity, but the outcome for the planned strike may as well be shared with all the players.  In fact, there have been highly visible efforts to bring in additional parties in an attempt to validate the military action, so why not bring in the Russian Federation?

Obama at work (image source)
Any effort sponsored by both Presidents Obama and Putin to "get to the facts" of the Sarin attacks would almost certainly be very successful. With Russian cooperation and sponsorship the heretofore closed Syrian estate would be opened for a credible investigation.  With the very credible threat of US military intervention by order of the US Constitutional Commander in Chief -- with or without assent from the Congressional "clown car" -- the terms and, ultimately, the compliance with such an investigation would be destined for such scrutiny as to be unavoidably credible.

The UN inspectors have already certified that Sarin was, in fact, the agent used in the attack.  President Obama is confident that the attack was perpetrated by the regime.  President Putin seems equally confident that it was perpetrated by the opposition forces.  Both Presidents have expressed an eagerness to be able to respond to the facts.

Why are we warming up the Tomahawks while such an attractive alternative  may be so close at hand?

Putting All the Cards on the Table

Now, of course, President Putin might refuse to attend the summit, but such a refusal would weigh heavily on a Russian politician MeanMesa has already characterized as Raskolnikov. [Syria: Putin as Raskolnikov ]  

However, presuming that the Russian agrees to "summit" with Obama, the resulting investigation would penetrate much more deeply than the limited mission assigned to the UN staff.  It could easily include a serious look at precisely who ordered the strike, and, perhaps, even include the origin of those orders.

Immediacy is always a problem with "negotiated proposals" for action, but here the Americans can offer the unavoidable motivation of the targeted missiles aboard the near by US Mediterranean fleet.  With or without Congressional approval the launch of those missiles is no longer theoretical or conditional -- it could be ordered and accomplished within minutes, and both Presidents know it.

Perhaps the most irritating of the narcotic "candy canes" so cravenly designed to replace any actual thought in the minds of the now hyper vigilant American public is the pervasive "no good options," a sort of "damned if you do, and damned if you don't" placebo for the mindless hordes of -- and suddenly not only militarized, but promoted --  civilian "Generals."

Well, MeanMesa thinks this is a good option.

The crisis calls out for bravery and leadership -- both qualities we have seen in our President.  It's clearly time to "break the spell."

Further Reading

MeanMesa has posted a great deal on the growing Syria conflict.  Have a look at the constantly developing thoughts posted on this blog concerning the subject.

Russia, China, Syria: Disgracing Great and Noble Revolutions
Syria in September: The Perfect Mousetrap
War in Syria
John McCain in Syria
Syria Part One: The Problem
Syria, Obama and the US Congress: Managing the Domestic Side of Intervention
A Plan for Post Assad Syria

 MeanMesa's compliments to the President

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Still Blaming W. Bush? Why stop?

A Legacy of Mistrust and Chaos

MeanMesa has watched the events in domestic politics with a stomach wrenching pain through the now temporarily befuddled plan to "speak out" about gassing innocent civilians in their sleep.  Spinning attitudes like marbles in a mayonnaise jar have sent public opinion polls into a tizzy reminiscent of a championship ping pong game.

The MeanMesa blog began "spreading joy" late in 2007.  The inspiration to begin blogging was due largely to a few students.  They could see how upsetting the autocracy's mad war making, domestic propaganda and economic looting was to this geezer. 

In particular two incredibly destructive aspects of the autocracy's "war on democracy" had risen to a grave, threatening level.

First, the Republican Party had adopted a system of political strategies in which the division of the US electorate was the highest priority. 

This was not a "flash in the pan" sort of manipulation of public opinion to squeeze one or two pieces of legislation through the entirely Republican House and Senate, either.  The "product" of this well funded, well designed new image of the country was intended to be durable and long lasting, perhaps in the fantasies of the owners of the GOP and the billionaires -- permanent.

There had already been starkly divisive maneuvering in the years following the election of Reagan, but during the Bush W. government, the penchant for issuing every possible "us and them" scenario reached incendiary heights.  Given the statistically low information, low education quality of the GOP base coupled with the smooth complicity of the -- by then -- entirely corporate domestic media, a rampage of violent vilification followed.

Second, the owners of the Republican Party had directed all of their extensive persuasive assets to establish a total mistrust of the US government among not only their own base of voters, but in a larger effect, to a large majority of American voters.

At first the focal points of this abiding mistrust had centered on traditional "irritants" already well developed -- that is, common irritants such as the IRS, synthetic classification of various laws as socialism, regulation of essentially any type, gays, minorities and a newly invigorated Xenophobia about immigrants, foreigners, Muslims and the like.

However, with the election of Barack Obama these default sensitivities became much more aggravated, and the further exploitation of the gradually constructed mistrust offered the oligarchs an irresistible opportunity to consolidate what would have normally been a rather modest and temporary political advantage.

The short sightedness of the money class revealed itself again -- just as it had with its ambition of a permanent division of the electorate -- with clear fantasies of permanent mistrust of the government.  Facing their inability to win elections, their apparent "second choice" was to reduce the country to a state where it was ungovernable.

All this rather meat handed exploitation was made possible by a number of factors, but one which seems to stand quite above the rest is the fact that civics is no longer part of a standard high school curriculum.  In the past even low information demographic populations such as the one making up the modern GOP base would have had sufficient exposure to the fundamentals of the American democracy to make most of such propaganda ineffective if not conspicuously suspicious.

We won't need to argue too much about the price we are paying for the national division and the national mistrust.  It is probably also interesting to examine precisely when and where these crippling additions were added to the national mentality.

The Robotic US Media's
Most Recent Compelling Phrases

A week ago when the President's intention to punish Assad for the child slaughtering Sarin gas attacks seemed to be reaching a "material substance," the very obedient US media's relentlessly repeated lament was "What does he expect to accomplish?"

As if the comatose US media actually cared. 

The US media had been given marching orders by the oligarchs in command of the corporations which own it.  The marching order?  Make Obama look ineffective regardless of the cost in network credibility.  Unhappily, for the oligarchs, those networks are already tragically over drawn in their "credibility accounts."

If anyone were going to play chess, which, it turns out, was exactly what Obama was doing with the Syrians by issuing his open ended threats, the oligarchs had decided that it would have to be the GOP's Obama hating "war experts" like Grampy McCain and six drawling Texans.  Unhappily, this team doesn't know how to play chess.  All this bunch is much good for is terrifying hill billies and enraging the bigots in the GOP Party base.

Unexpectedly, at precisely this point the formidable politician Obama deftly passed the recently heated "hot potato" to the House tea bags. 

The media's "replacement lament" emerged immediately -- so quickly, in fact, that MeanMesa assumes it was already written in anticipation of the President's fast hand at the draw.  Network after network regurgitated the talking points almost word for word and almost simultaneously.

"Obama's faltering has cast the leadership of his Presidency and the predominance of the US in world opinion into grave doubt."

As if THAT were anything new.

To date, the terrified, cowardly House Speaker has refused to call his boisterous, unpredictable tea bags back into session until early September when they will stagger back into D.C after NOT holding town hall meetings in their home districts.  Who knows how many Syrians Assad will have gassed by then.

Once the clown car is safely seated in the House chamber, the Sharia law bills, the repeal ObamaCare bills and the wild eyed, racist liable will re-commence as vehemently as a teenage school girl vomiting in the back seat of a Packard.  The remote possibility of a "tea bag debate" on the Syria crisis will be abandoned, fluttering in the wind -- perhaps near the cave where Speaker Boehner is hiding with a room temperature Rob Roy looking for his testicles.

So, Why Blame W. Bush?

Here, MeanMesa asks visitors to remember just how wretched things had become by mid 2008.   This blog was posting about the unelected President back then.
One of his "more Presidential" moments.

The thread here is, however, specifically about the origin of the current state of
the nation in which Americans do not or cannot trust the intentions of the current President.  How in hell did we wind up in a place like this?

A glimpse at what it all looked like back then might help.  For this we can re-visit an old MeanMesa post from July, 2008.

Dancing with the "T" Word:  Treason?
MeanMesa, Monday, July 7, 2008

Enough of This Polite Confusion
None Dare Call It Treason?

Although this may be borrowing the title of an old book, we can translate its rather provocative question right into the present. As we measure our leaders we see them in essentially three dimensions.

The first is probably whether or not we agree with them. This matter spreads out to all sorts of things: economics, foreign policy, social ideals, justice and personal philosophy. No matter how contentious the issue might be, we can approach it with the confidence that we will survive, pretty much in the state we are accustomed to, even if we strongly disagree with the choice finally made. After these disagreeable matters are put into place through the action of our democratic system, we calm down, somehow comforted by the possibility that the next time will be our chance to prevail.

Issues of disagreement can be dramatized as “treason” while we rant and rave, but there is not really any actual treason at play.

The second dimension has to do with mistakes. Our national leadership can make military mistakes, foreign policy mistakes, domestic economic mistakes and all sorts of other mistakes. It would be comforting to categorize these mistakes as being “innocent” or “unavoidable” in one sense, or “suspicious” or “self-serving” in the other sense. In any event, although errors in judgement, the “conspiracy” side rarely materializes. We survive these in much the same manner as we survive the disagreeable variety. Quite comfortably.

Again, as citizens we are, of course, directly responsible for these mistakes, their consequences, usually to others, and their historical ramifications. Similar to the “disagreeable variety” we can correct them. We get out our voter ID’s and go to town at the next election.

However, the third dimension of measure brings us quickly to the grave realm quite beyond either “disagreeable” or “incompetent.” The third measure falls to the threatening prospect of treason. It stands out beyond our considerations of “disagreeable” or “incompetent” because it offers the possibility of our not surviving it.

The conclusion of treason” is not quite as murky as a conclusion of disagree-ability or incompetence.” Those lesser complaints rely rather heavily on opinion. Those easier ones are based, often, on the information we have made the effort to accumulate about a certain thing or other. In many cases, there will be contradictory information supporting an alternate opinion. Then we get to argue with each other. This, of course, is the American way. The end result of this is that we wind up hearing about the facts supporting the opinion of the other side, probably not changing our original position much, but at least, understanding the other side a little better.

However, returning to the matter of treason,” we immediately must also address trust.” After all, enough “trust” in the character and motivation of one of our leaders can serve to move what might have otherwise been treason to a more palatable place nearer what could be called, for instance, incompetence.” We find it rather difficult to construct the indictment of “treasoneven to situations presented with misdirection, deception, outright lies, confusing motives, intentional complexity and the like. With all those “buffers” in place, the fabric of inescapable pure, true treasoncan become elusive.

After all, he didn’t just hand Los Angeles over to the Chinese Army or something.

As tax payers, we have provided the President with some pretty potent tools to use for our protection and for the protection of the country as he steers us through risky situations and other challenges, not the least of these is the most expensive military the planet has ever seen. We elected him because we thought he would be much better at such tasks than we would be if we were President. We also made a statement in that election. We declared that we “trusted” him, his motivation, his ability and even his intuition. We also expected that he was going to “trust us” as far as possible as he did his job.

This President spoke, apparently convincingly, about Political Capital.” That term describes something either the same as trust or, at least, very involved with trust.” These comments about Political Capital” may have been some of the most forthright comments this President has ever made.

You know, “honest.” Oh, yeah, anyway. Well, you know.

We can gauge our trust a bit by looking at who our “leader” has trusted.” That would be “Brownie” of FEMA-Katrina fame, Putin, the man whose soul he saw, or something, the Iraqis, the ones he “trusted” would simply leap into democracy, the “Generals” who managed to create a five and half year long meat grinder, Mr. Wolfowitz, a neo-con genius, Mr. Bremmer, a neo-con genius, Mr. Rove. a neo-con and alleged "human" of unknown origin, Mr. Rumsfeld, a neo-con military genius, Mr. DeLay, a political neo-con genius exterminator (yeah, bugs), Mr. Abramhoff, who he quit trusting” when it became difficult, Mr. Cheney, you know, “shooter,” and others. He even trusted the famous Jeff Gannon of enough to give him Helen Thomas’s seat at press conferences.

We can take a look at the stuff that makes our country strong. He has pretty much wrecked the Army while losing a battle with a trailer park east of Cairo. He has tanked the economy which is the basis for the wealth we need to defend ourselves. He has managed to drive off most of our friends, those would be the ones who couldn’t be bribed or threatened. Sometimes friends are helpful in matters of national security.

He has always been too tormented by his fear about decisions he makes to trust anyone. He clearly believes that “enough authority” means one doesn’t have to “trust anyone. Where does incompetence” make the last journey to outright treason?”

Perhaps the suspicious transfer of billions of tax dollars to his friends via tax breaks can resist the new definition, thereby remaining no more than incompetence.” Perhaps a national debt, not counting the “emergency funding billions” for Iraq and Afghanistan, rising to an astounding nine trillion dollars with nothing to show for the purchase can still be simple incompetence.” Maybe his “line blocking” Republican cronies in the Congress obstructing a record seventy-eight House bills with their filibuster threats, extracting his war profiteering funds by the hundreds of billions every time he asked, protecting his impeachment investigation from proceeding are really just in the disagreeable category.

So, no “treason’” right?

Not exactly. Our nation is apparently able to survive all this damage. We recall that “treason” didn’t really cross the line until it threatened our national security. Has that happened, too?

Yes. It has.

The most valuable “trust” of all is our confidence that this man will step up to lead us through really dangerous matters should they arise. We have no choice but to count on him for such matters. Even if we “disagree.” Even if we think he is “incompetent.” He remains the only “horse” we’ve got, and that means he is the one we have to count on, his judgment may be faulty, his ability may suggest “incompetence,” but he remains the one with the keys to set our defense in motion should the need arise.

Our problem is that we can no longer trust him. Sure, he remains an incredibly powerful man thanks to the assets we have given him, but we can no longertrust him when he tells us that we are facing danger or that we must go to war. We have learned the painful lesson that his words will always be self-serving and deceptive. We, frankly, have no reliable means to determine for ourselves the gravity of situations which might face us. We are “flying blind.”

That frightening situation is beyond disagreeable,” beyond incompetent.” Through his own strategy he has emasculated the political leadership we have created to protect our democracy and our nation. His careful, premeditated, intentional creation of that state of affairs is treason.

THIS is why we needn't so much as break a sweat with the prospect of rehabilitating George W. Bush -- it can't be done.

We are paying a monumental price for the autocrat's "legacy" of mistrust and chaos.  So is Syria.

This is what happens in the ruins of democracy.