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Running Away from George Bush Like Usain Bolt with a Rocket Up His Ass

1:56 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Oh brother, that’s rich! Suddenly, George W. Bush is no longer the crazy uncle no one wants to talk about. Some key Republicans have stopped running away from him like Usain Bolt with a rocket up his ass to turn and tell the world what a magnificent ass cake the Texas Tugjob really was. With apologies to Sally Field, “They hate him, they really hate him!”

Until now if you brought up George the Lesser in Republican quarters you’d likely get an, “Um, I think I left my lights on,” with a quick exit. Sure they knew he was a carbuncle on the ass of society, but how do you cop to supporting an incompetent boob for eight years and spend the next four blaming all the steaming turds he left on someone else?

It turns out you do it cravenly.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Wherehtehellhaveyoubeenfor12years) thinks Obama’s handling of Al Qaeda is Iraq War III. He told Face the Nation, “I have seen this movie before.  I went to Iraq in 2004 and everybody told me things are going fine, this is just a few dead-enders. Iraq was falling apart, and you couldn’t get the truth from the Bush administration.”

I have to agree with him there, but no one got the truth from him either.

Crazy Amir’s Carpets, Home of the $5 Deal

After his famous 2004 trip with John McTheusela, he said, “We went to the market and were just really warmly welcomed. I bought five rugs for five bucks. And people were engaging.” Of course they were, the cracker and the old man traveled through the Green Zone with a scad of soldiers, in heavily armored Humvees (that real soldiers couldn’t get), with helicopter gunships flying top cover. It was the safest everyday Iraqis in the market had felt in years, especially since 88 people died there not long before our fearless twosome stared down Osama himself. Those rugs from Crazy Amir’s Carpet and AK-47 Emporium were the most expensive $5 rugs in history…but good for lying on apparently.

Now Lindsey and his cohorts think, “The Middle East is falling apart, and they’re (the Obama administration) trying to spin what happened in Libya because the truth of the matter is, al Qaeda is alive and well, and counter-attacking.”

True enough. They are alive and well and bombing, but then so is just about every other jackhole in the world – Americans included. But as we learned since then, al Qaeda weren’t even IN Iraq until George the Lesser Texas 2-Stepped in.

We should’ve gotten the hell out of there long before we started to, but with Condi W. George, “victory” was always just around the corner. If there is fault with Obama’s handling of an intractable Iraq mess, it is not coming up with a better solution for a problem that cannot be “solved”. He unwisely followed the plan the previous court jester plan left tucked in the top drawer of the Resolute Desk.

Oh, and two more points. First, Obama has never said al Qaeda is dead. He is acutely aware of their liveliness. In fact, they’re probably responsible for the Benghazi bombing. Second, your boy lost interest in Osama bin Laden while Obama squelched the skeevy bastard with extreme prejudice. So in one swoop, he did more to rid the world of the dangerous knotheads than George did in 8 years. However, there is no way to rid the world of knotheads. If there were, Graham wouldn’t be bloviating now.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Disneyland) is criticizing Obama for a lack of embassy security, that he – “Oops, I forgot to mention that” -  voted against. He compares Obama’s Middle East policies to “Mission Accomplished” George’s. “…when President George W. Bush went aboard an aircraft carrier and said, ‘Mission Accomplished,’ I listened, rightfully so, to people saying, look, but there are still problems, and they’re still dying,” Issa said. “And quite frankly, things got worse in many ways after that famous statement.”

Duh. Ya think? Of course things weren’t bad enough to vote against Bush’s mission, accomplished or otherwise, now were they?

Mission Accomplished Moment?  Um…No

“We’re going through a ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment,” Issa now says with no sense of irony. “Eleven years after September 11, Americans were attacked on September 11 by terrorists who pre-planned to kill Americans. That happened. And we can’t be in denial, particularly when there are compounds all over the Middle East that need to be legitimately protected at a level that security professionals ask for.”

Darrel, you’re completely right of course. The Obama administration didn’t protect the Benghazi embassy and they should have. We do need to know what happened. The story is in knots and the Administration must be honest, admit mistakes, present plans to fix them, and move on. Whether Obama and Biden personally knew about requests is beside the point. Whether it was al Qaeda or not is beside the point. Whether you and the rest of the Boehner Boys voted against funding is beside the point. The cock-up came on their watch and it is their responsibility.  But a “Mission Accomplished moment”?  Um…no.

Go ahead and investigate, but don’t be too pious about it and keep it fair. Remember, you were investigated for financial irregularities, grand theft auto, and illegal gun charges? You got a fair hearing. You might want to keep that in mind as an example of how to get problems solved.

Speaking of fairness, let’s not heap all this on the Republicans. Bush-era Dems voted like people sans vertebrae for 8 years. They aren’t so happy to trot that out today because they are afraid to and don’t have the morals to admit they screwed Barney during the Bush years. But then, the Republicans always were the ballsy ones.

Let’s not forget, Iraq and Afghanistan ain’t over and they never will be. People are still dying. We’re still paying off the huge off-budget bill for George’s nearly decade-long drunken spree. And, other hot spots crop up faster than the Great Ursine God Smokey can stomp them out. The problems, many of which were there long before George the Lesser was a twinkle in George the Ancient’s eye, are still problems with no solutions. It is not because people haven’t tried, but because you can’t solve terror or win a war that is no such thing. That is precisely why the candidates would rather walk over a broken glass, weenie roast bonfire than talk about the bedamned places.

Nope, there was plenty of blame to spread then and there is plenty of it to go around now. I’d recommend any politician who drives the Lindsey-Issa Craven Expressway to check their tires before they start the trip.

They’re bound to have a blowout.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

You Know Why They Hate Us?

8:09 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Joe Scarborough, Conservative Fruitcake

(photo: DonkeyHotey/flickr)

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough created a controversy on Monday by suggesting Muslims and Arabs protesting the infamous, and infamously bad, anti-Islamic video hate America because of their religion and culture. “You know why they hate us?” he said. “They hate us because of their religion, they hate us because of their culture, and they hate us because of peer pressure. And you talk to any intelligence person, they will tell you that’s the same thing, and all those people who think we’re going to go over there and change them are just naive.”

Joe is specifically blaming Islamic religion and Arab culture, which isn’t necessarily true, but there are some connections – just not the type he’s suggesting. Before throwing his baby out with the bathwater, consider this:

Islam is not the problem. The Koran teaches more or less useful, peaceful lessons about loving your neighbor and doing good – at least you can interpret it that way. The Koran is no different than most holy books in that sense. It is all in the interpretation and who does the interpreting. Fortunately, the vast majority of Muslims follow the peaceful part and leave the troublemaking to a relatively small percentage of over-zealous firebrands. Violence is not a Muslim thing, it is a human thing.

Using Religion to Stir Up Trouble

Just as some fundamentalist Christians make weird and violent interpretations of the scriptures, some Muslim clerics who do the same with the Koran. There is little difference between a preacher who advocates killing abortion doctors or spewing Westboro Baptist’s, “God Hates Fags” lunacy and a Muslim cleric launching a fatwa against the U.S. because we “allowed” a nutty, money-laundering, soft porn maker to insult Muhammad and Allah. Both are prostitutions of religious teachings. But, that doesn’t mean that media, and especially politicians, don’t use religion to stir up trouble in the service of their own agendas.

In the current case, a gaggle of extremists wanted to advance their agenda. They could’ve made a more genuine argument by pointing out the many pitfalls of American policy and the damage they’ve been dealt by the World’s Only Remaining Superpower™. However, that’s a complicated, tough sell. Bar charts, pie graphs, and lectures from historians about American policy’s effect on the Arab/Israeli/American quagmire are yawners. It’s much easier to get the kids busy making fire bombs and laying in a good supply of rocks and protest signs, then light a match. Poor, uneducated people who’ve heard nothing but lies for centuries are fertile targets for a little rage.

Middle Eastern governments have a variety of reasons for keeping America’s feet over their citizen’s fires. For some, like Egypt’s Mubarak, the reason was not appearing to be an American puppet. The current Egyptian government is in turmoil over sectarian divides and is a still morphing “democracy” sitting atop shaky legs. They don’t want their people probing the fault lines too vigorously for fear of an everlasting Arab Spring, summr, fall, and winter.

Until recently, Pakistan put on a love America storyline for westerners, but told Pakistanis all their problems come from Washington. In Afghanistan, Karzai wants to deflect attention from his unfortunate appetite for airplane loads of $100 bills. If he doesn’t distract his people, they might want some of those pallets of money themselves. Libya is in shambles and the government so weak they couldn’t help the U.S. even if they wanted. It is easier for them to float the idea that the U.S. could’ve made everything easy had they just invaded the place and thrown Gaddafi out – but since they didn’t go bomb their place, not ours. And, stop asking questions.
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George W. Bush Was Destined for a Middling Legacy

3:11 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Before 9/11, George W. Bush was destined for a middling legacy. There was no great indication his administration would become the clustercoitus it became. His biggest “accomplishment” was a cut-em’-in-half, Solomonaic decision to ban stem cell testing while using up the existing supply of “the unborn”. When he delivered his announcement, he had that deer in the headlights squint that would become so familiar and ridiculed in the years to come.

Bush drawn as a chimp

Bush's Original Destiny? (Image: Donkey Hotey / Flickr)

Then came September 11. We call it 9/11. The universal emergency number is a fitting tribute to him.

After first, he didn’t perform terribly. Sure, his initial reaction was a little stunned and appearing on TV shortly after the attacks he looked harried and panicked. Who wouldn’t? But after regaining his composure, he did mostly the right things…at first.

A Presidential Seal Boot Up a Nation of Taliban AssesWith a stunned nation looking on he vowed vengeance. He promised a Presidential Seal boot up a nation of Taliban asses. Yes, the megaphone atop the pile of rubble with his arm slung around a grinning fire fighter foreshadowed his ill-fated Mission Accomplished photo op, but to a nation in crisis a little theatrics went a long way. Admirably, the country bonded in a way not seen in years.

However, the wheels soon began to come off the bus in the now-familiar way they would do repeatedly. He told the nation he knew of the culprit. It was that Osama bin Laden fella – criminal mastermind and de facto leader of Afghanistan.  He put some of them “islamofascists” up to it. When people asked why he didn’t know this in time to stop OBL he told the nation he didn’t know anything about it until just before that fateful day.

Since then, we’ve learned that, well, he did know about it before. Long before. The CIA would tell him repeatedly for almost a year that something terrible was afoot. Put on the spot, he blamed the CIA, claiming their reports were vague and intelligence came too late to do any good. Recently declassified intelligent documents showed the CIA to be real truthers in the affair. With Paul Ryan truthiness the revelations will bounce off his vulcanized head.

In fairness, even with the warnings it’s unclear if he could cook up a defense in time anyway. But he needed to do something.

So, he ignored centuries of evidence that invading Afghanistan was the common mistake of many empires. Afghanistan was always a lawless place and the warlords liked it that way. There was virtually a sign at the border warning invaders to enter at their own risk – especially if their plans went no farther than rounding up Osama and kicking his ass. The intervening years showed that was a huge mistake. Even Special Forces and CIA teams couldn’t track the bastard down. Osama was like a Keebler elf living in a hollow tree – an amateur videographer living in a Pakistani cave.

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Let’s Talk War

4:55 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

There were plenty of smoking holes left after the Shitkicker-in-Chief retired to a life of Texas Rangers baseball games and interviews about how swell it was being President. Everything from the big league economic pooch-screwing to an erosion of civil rights so complete we’re barely left with a ground down pencil nub haunts us. The Big O is responsible now, by virtue of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, but it is still an unusually big burden to bear. The screeching flock of Republican albatrosses around his neck nipping his ass doesn’t help either.

But among those towering monuments to crapitude stand the twin Wars of Error, Iraq and Afghanistan. And being monuments to crapitude, the Big Guy doesn’t want to talk about them. Neither does Mittens. He has enough unanswerable tax questions to flub.

Iraq is now subdued and peaceful – if by peaceful you mean Saturday night on the wrong side of Detroit’s 8-Mile. People still die by the score, infrastructure is an iffy thing, and the politicos still debate the size of the erstwhile President’s desk. If it weren’t for betting on suicide bombers, there’d be no recreation at all. In fact, we’re still footing their bill as they sit on piles of cash and steal what we send.

Sweet deal. I bet Mittens would like to get in on that.

The Withdrawal Capital of the World, Afghanistan, is a bigger mess by the day. Afghan police blow themselves up so often each policeman has a second policeman as a minder topped by a platoon of Green Berets just to keep the death toll down.

Yep. Spreading the fruits of democracy is a thankless job – especially when Hamid Karzai steals anything not nailed down while whining he needs more than the steady stream of bullion already headed his way.

Yes, it is the economy stupid. Yes, people need work and health care, and educations, and tons of other stuff. Yet, we have plenty of time to talk seriously about some ‘moran’ who wouldn’t recognize rape if he dropped the soap at San Q.

It is deplorable.

Tens of thousands of Americans are fighting to keep someone else’s country free…well, at least freer than…oh hell, let’s face it, they aren’t accomplishing a damn thing. Plus, the money we’re spending to keep Karzai in goatskin caps and fashionable capes could pay for a lot of that stuff people need. Worse, people die for the chance to lord it over a bunch of people living a cargo-cult life in a rock-strewn hellhole.

Barry and Mittens, please drop that next campaign stop for a donut and Lardburger Supreme. Stop trying to keep your under-minions from pissing off Rage Against the Machine or schooling them not to use “keep ya’ll in chains” as a metaphor while talking to a large group of African Americans. Pull over, jump out of the old Forked Tongue Express RV, and talk…just a little, about why people have to die and why we should have to pay for it.

It is a reasonable question and people expect a reasonable answer, even if history shows we’ll never get it.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor

These are the Only Candidates We Can Field?

9:30 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

The Barack Obama faithful are enthusiastically lining up behind their man even as a healthy heap of Democrats and moderates are either going elsewhere or sitting on the fence. It’s early yet, but polls already show Obama making few inroads against a gaff-prone, non-committal, out of touch boob of a pandermeister. That is not a good thing, early or not.I’ll confess up front that I wasn’t a dyed-in-the-wool Obama man in 2008. I felt as I usually do in Presidential elections – we have more than 300 million people in this country and these are the best we can field? At one point or another I toyed with almost all the candidates and found each of them lacking – some more than others.

However, I was sure of one thing. John McTheusela and Moosilini Mom were potentially even worse than George the Lesser – and those are big cowboy boots to fill. The nation was in the crapper and a cranky, serial panderer with skin as thin as a condom paired with an illiterate, half-term governor with an expensive clothes jones would only make things worse. So, it came down to a razor-thin choice between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama…and an opportunity to be called sexist by Hillary supporters and racist by Barack supporters depending on who I eventually voted for. Either way, I was pre-convicted in the court of public “isms” with only bad choices available.

Even though neither candidate was perfect, as none will ever be, I looked at both sets of campaign promises and found each acceptable to vote for.

Prepared for the Unpreparable

Those promises aside, I felt Hillary was as prepared to become President as anyone could be for a job for which nobody is truly qualified. My biggest knock against her was a belief that Republicans would make her an even more polarizing figure than she was as First Lady and that weakness would make digging out of the Bushole even tougher than it already was.

Barack had something the Cowboy With No Hat sorely lacked for 8 years – charisma and an ability to speak with a degree of intelligence while not sounding like an ignorant, shit-kicking goat-roper wearing Presidential Seal boots. Still he had a disturbing habit of speaking with his chin up and slightly pouted lip not unlike Mussolini. I also had dim hopes he could weasel at least some bipartisanship out of the MMA ring that is American politics. However, I didn’t completely buy into the whole Hope and Change thing. I may be a skeptic, but there’s a reason they call politics politics and some sunshine in the air never lasts, especially when Mitch “Yertle the Turtle” McConnell announced getting rid of the Kenyan Communist was his first, and only, priority for the next 4 years. Mitch may be an asscake, but he is true to his word.

While the current Obamunites have many good points proving things have gotten better, the general populace is still restive for some good reasons.

Yes, the previous Crapweasel-in-Chief tanked the economy, but the O-Man’s successes since then have been modest. When you sit in the Big Chair all issues great and small become your issues on Day 1, fairness and the poor ability for Presidents to cure economic ills notwithstanding. It goes with the crappy job. Besides, Obama’s economic cures started as small retools of flawed Bushian solutions he timidly deployed and including provisions – like excessive executive pay redress – falling by the wayside. Selecting a fox from the chicken coop for TreasSec, Timmy Geithner wasn’t a way to get tough with Big Ballsy St. either.

Sure, he sneaked a sort of health care past the perpetually healthy and wealthy crowd, but he did it by conceding plenty before his minions even entered the negotiation room – a used car salesman he clearly isn’t. He also picked it as his signature issue and decided to do it as his first big order of business – a rookie tactical mistake.

Pandering Isn’t an Altogether Bad Thing

LGBT rights were a general success, though he still straddles a line between saying what’s good for gays is good for the country and waffling on his “personal” belief that letting no man tear asunder God’s assertion that marriage doesn’t apply to gays. But he got it largely through, proving pandering isn’t an altogether bad thing.

But he’s not only been worthless on my core issues, he’s actually taken the Bush line and made it worse. Civil rights and a reasonable expectation that drones won’t be colonoscoping my kiester are hardly mentioned anymore. There is still a de facto suspension of habeas corpus and you can’t talk on your unregulated phone without being tapped and spied by ubiquitous street-corner TV cameras. Watch the TV show Person of Interest for a real reality show way more true than Snooki and Co.

I still have to strip to my skivvies to catch a flight and stand in a long, ill-tempered line for the privilege. Gitmo’s still an open sore on our international reputation and corporations and their Gods-on-Earth still run amok. And, despite quasi-draw downs both Iraq and Afghanistan are still wars no matter how you look at them. We fly drones over our erstwhile ally Pakistan with the same impunity we use them to spy on our own people and prop up an Afghanasshole who pisses on our shoes while we say, “thank you sir, may we have another squirt?”

No doubt, Obama has made headway and should get his just props, especially while doing it with an anvil tied around his neck. Am I, like the American people, demanding too much of a mere mortal? Yes, but we vote to get Gods, not Joe the plumber. We’re Americans. We’re funny that way.

No President ever measures up completely, but some do a much better job than others. All things equal, if I had a viable choice, I’d be looking for my God elsewhere. But, Mittens is not only unviable, he looks suspiciously like a Stepford Husband. As the election grows near, I’m shopping for a clothes pin for my nose and getting ready to vote for Mr. Obama.

And, wondering how we can have 300 million people and these are the only candidates we can field.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture.

Success and Failure Under the Pottery Barn Rule

5:05 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

THOU SHALT NOT BE STUPID – The Bible of Common Sense sez, “Know what you’re doing before you do it.”

Colin Powell warned the Bush administration about their twin Wars of Error with the Pottery Barn Rule – “You break it, you buy it.” Unfortunately, the Bush and Obama administrations chose long term leases with options to wreck the US economy.

In the beginning, the Crapweasel-in-Chief flexed his military muscle by starting a war on the Taliban in Afghanistan. Then, Bush the Lesser’s terminal case of ADD set the table for Operation Shit in Your Mess Kit in Iraq. As it became clearer the wars, supported by the Coalition of the Inept”, were cesspools of money-sucking, people-killing swill Bush and the Big Dick Cheney doubled down on surge and puffery.

The puffery was the worst. As regular as a cheap watch Condi Rice stood with Witless George to remind us victory was just around the corner…for 3-years running. When that message flopped, as anyone with an IQ greater than a doughnut hole could see it would, the chant became, “If we leave now Iraq and Afghanistan will descend into civil war.”

Sadly, it was one of the few prescient things to come out of the whole shameful experience. A “no-duh” revelation of mammoth proportions.

UNINTELLIGENT INTELLIGENCE – Make sure your Chief Spy knows what’s really going on.

We recently snuck out of Iraq in the middle of the night and even after leaving an Army of you and I paid mercenaries behind, the place is still a mess and the fighting is heating up again. The Real War has now droned on for over a decade and the Ombamulans are ready to pull the plug there.  They will find, as many other Afghan “conquerors” have found, that keeping roving bands of war lords from slitting each other’s throats just for the hell of it is a lot harder than it looks. Chaos will follow us across the bridge out of the place next year just at it did with the Soviets.

Four years too late, the Obamunist finally sees it isn’t worth pumping money into a house with a broken foundation. He is pulling back and predictably his opponents are blaming him for the “failure” of wars he didn’t start with outcomes already set and Bush revisionism spouting like a whale pod with allergies. He may be a slow learner, but his record is 8 years to 4 in the football game of failure. Just as his Senate war vote was ill-advised and cowardly it’s better to wake up late than never.

Make no mistake, we victimized ourselves with the Pottery Rule 100-fold, but crapped on the people of both places 1000-fold. We bombed Iraq back to the Stone Age and Afghanistan back to the 6,000-year old Christian creation. The places are far more dysfunctional than before we decided to “liberate” them from a workable infrastructure and all those pesky family members. The Iraqis are returning to the same feudalism that even a despot like Hussein could barely hold together. And the Afghans are, well, about the same as before.

People are blabbering about attacking far more talented Team Iran soon. Clearly some of us have forgotten that Iran soundly whipped second-string Iraq’s ass in the War Bowl. It’s time to start planning a response better than the Wars of Error debacle lest we bomb the hell out of someone with the same negative effect as Iraqistan.

It’s another stupendous, “no duh, moment”.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Billion Dollar Airplanes or Schoolbooks?

2:57 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Anyone who denies there are big flaws in our military’s procurement practices is light on scruples and probably the CEO of, say, Boeing (among others)… or maybe both.

Anyone who believes that if America had no military the world would live in peace and harmony is suffering from dementia. There’s always disagreement over the list of bad guys, but make no mistake, there are creatively evil people out there. Like it or not, America needs a military that can defend and support our interests. The problem is how we buy it.

Military SpendingClick image for larger >> 

The first pig at the barrel is foreign policy. Going off to every piss-hole in the snow costs a lot of money and may ultimately fail anyway. We’re still unraveling ourselves from two unneeded military adventures that, in large part, wrecked our economy. Now, voters expect a peace dividend so the money can flow elsewhere. But it’s not so simple.

Most legislators and corporatists like how big military talk plays at the ballot box. Lost jobs, tax rates, and trying to do right by troops who did what civilian leaders ordered are continuing costs. Costs that proportionately make Medicare look like a game of penny pitching. Iraqistan will cost us for decades.

Military doctrine is also a big driver. The US is equipped for WWIII, not guerilla wars like Afghanistan. Their mandate is to conduct 2 wars simultaneously. That takes lots of people, lots of very expensive equipment, and lots of money to run 0.6 mpg tanks. It ain’t cheap to blow things up.

Congress Says Soldiers Need More Pork Chops
There’s a lot less waste than you might think, not the least of which are the “unfunded mandate”, anti-pork barrel legislators who dangle the pork chops over the Pentagon. Congress sets detailed spending priorities for almost all major military programs – whether they make sense or not. If the military needs a new airplane Congress tells the military whether that is the airplane they want, regardless of whether it’s what the military needs. Almost every major weapons system sends business to all 50 states, regardless if those are the cheapest contractors.

Finally, Monday morning quarterbacking takes its toll. Legislators knowing zip about how to fight a war, along with Congressional and Presidential foreign policies, do their part to jack costs up. Politicians want to use military spending for jobs programs instead of efficient war-fighting, except when something happens. Then, they want to destroy whoever spent all that money on creationism schoolbooks than tanks.

And last, voters make decisions about military spending while knowing even less than Congress or the President. That doesn’t stop them from meddling with the process though. Read the rest of this entry →