September 23, and I type this during CNBC's pregame show for Bush's
to the UN requesting international cooperation in Iraq. Joe Kernan,
resident analyst, recommends that we buy, not hold, such concerns
as Lockheed Martin and GlaxoSmithKline; encouraging, if our aim
is to profit from death and illness. For his part, the ubiquitous
Larry Korb, CNBC panel mainstay from the Council on Foreign Relations,
suggests that maybe just maybe! the appetite of Americans
for military adventure is diminished.
think? Here's what I think: when I was watching CNBC world Tuesday
AM before passing out in a stupor of hydrocodone and granola,
I noticed that the US dollar has lost 17% versus the Euro in the
last twelve months alone [which neatly mirrors
the 17% gain in the S&P Index over a comparable period]. What
does that mean? It means the few dollars I make writing columns
are worth a full sixth less than they would be a year ago. It
also means recent stock market gains aren't all that impressive
after all, that the capital value of these companies is neatly
augmented even as the spending power of the "proletariat" is diminished,
like the lifespan of a 12 year old Iraqi homeland defender in
the wrong place at the wrong time.
I bitter? You're damned right. Do I think this war was a colossal
error? Hell, yes. Do I believe the neo-cons who lied us into war
should be strung up by their well-compensated vocal cords and
typing fingers, lynched by those who gave their health or loved
ones so that Iraq Could Be Free? I'd watch it on PPV. Does it
bother me that, in abrogating the sovereignty of "failed states",
we have pissed away our own sovereignty for precisely no gain?
Not even a profit from the Iraqi war? Hell, yes. False idealism
is one thing but inefficiency, and the squandering of America's
strategic position are something else altogether.
does it mean that Bush is asking for UN assistance in Iraq? It
means that the US can't finish what it starts, unless it comes
to imposing "security" on the hapless American people. It means
that, once and for all, we are yoked to the dying nations of the
EU, in some vain hope of courting legitimacy in the "world community".
who target relief workers for death have set themselves against
all humanity." Ask me if I care about relief workers, when everyone
I know is pimping themselves out for money from any employer willing
to sign them on. I don't care that the "evil ones… adopt the tactics
of gangsters." Very few of the secular humanists who plan American
wars understand the significance of Iraqi cities like Basra
in Koranic prophecy; even the non-Muslim Rastafarians sang of
Basra ["he comes from Basra/his garment dripping with blood" went
one lyric from a Lee Perry production] on 1970s Jamaican dub plates.
But no one cares about prophecy at this late date; it's all the
neocon nabobs at Fox News can do to decide whether or not to wear
a flag pin on any given day.
I care about the "torture chambers" going bye-bye or about the
"killing fields" being found? Hell, no. Like we don't have rough
equivalents to such in our own country. Like people don't fall
off the face of the earth, never to return. Like people don't
get locked up in Joliet, IL or Starke, FL and come back to "society"
a few years later, with a gift of AIDS or syphilis from overeager
cellmates who jumped their bones whenever the mood struck. And
I really don't care that "the United Nations has been a friend
to the Afghan people". The best gift we could give the Afghans
is to forget them.
greatest financial commitment of its kind since the Marshall Plan"
seems like such a colossal, unmandated spending spree that future
historians will call it by its proper name: embezzlement. "The
broadest possible" assortment of countries battling "rogue states"
seems like nothing so much as a prelude to the "seven
nation army" I wrote about in this space last week. "The fifteen
billion dollars devoted to fighting AIDS around the world" seems
like nothing so much as vainglorious pretext; again, why should
Americans care about people they can't find on a map? Much less
die for them, or go bankrupt for them?
in the delivery of this speech, our President managed to hold
forth on the UN's responsibility to squelch the international
sex trade. Come again? What does that have to do with stopping
The Next Adolf Hitler? "The trade of human beings for any purpose
must not be allowed to thrive in our time"; again, not to be hypercritical,
but the Washington government can't even stop people downloading
Celine Dion songs without the explicit permission of copyright
holders. So why in hell should we imagine they'll have any more
luck in squelching sexual exploitation, especially given that
I can't watch a Florida Marlins game on basic cable without seeing
ads for strip clubs? Sexual exploitation it's not just for
breakfast anymore! And was that Ahmed
Chalabi sitting in the "Iraq" chair at the UN? Waiter, more
Vicodin for this humble scribe!