Friday, May 19, 2006

America or Amerika

This guest blog from the author Bruce Stutz.

Dear Dog,

Last night, before I read this blog, I attended a showing of documentary films by young people--high school kids--and the common theme in all of them was their concern that amidst all the politician's focus on terror, the war in Iraq, gay marriage, illegal immigrants (some of these kids are the sons and daughters of illegal immigrants), they and their futures have been forgotten. One film told the story of a teenage boy who couldn't get enough work to support his ill mom and so had no choice but to enlist in the army despite the fact that would leave her alone. Another was of a young high school graduate, a girl, who had good grades all through school but since her mom had brought her here from Trinidad she had no social security number, no legal status, and so had no choice but to take babysitting and maid jobs that paid her 3.50 an hour.

Back at home I heard that the senate was trying to define how we are an "English speaking" country. Earlier in the day the senate moved to the floor a resolution for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Yet earlier in the day Bush asked for nearly 2 billion dollars to build a fortified wall between ourselves and Mexico. And earlier in the day the nominee for head of the CIA refused to say he would not eavesdrop on the the phone calls of citizens. One day's news was enough to make it clear how much fear has been instilled into this country and just how much democratic energy this state of fear and xenophobia is draining from us, and worse, from our youth. In a state of fear no person, or nation, can function as it should. Our school systems are a wreck, our health care system fails all but the wealthiest--the data speaks for itself on this. New Orleans and Biloxi still lie in ruin. The real concern for climate change is ignored and the effects will be our children's to deal with.

And then this morning I hear of more soldiers and Iraqi civilians killed for a war that, meaningless to begin with, has deteriorated into the black absurd. And then I get on the subway and see all the cops with heavy duty gear stationed along the platforms and realize that the country that gained its strength from hope and ideals, has been weakened and sissified by fear. Here in New York City one sees that life that immigration gives and has given to this country. On the subway people are reading papers in Chinese, Arabic, Greek, Russian, Italian, Spanish and every other language. There are students, workers, homeless, suits, transvestites, complexions of every shade, people of every stature, and all heading together to work. Maybe, I think, if Bush and Frist and the rest took the subway to work they'd learn something about the country they purport to lead.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What's a Terrorist?

This Dog has maintained since September 11, 2001, that the "war on terriors" was just another bit of electionering, fear mongering bogosity intended to raise more money for the "big government" defense and intelligence gathering operations and to provide cover for wars of aggression. Terror, in his view, is a violent act directed at the civilian population in order to frighten, demoralize, and ultimately alienate them from their leaders to such an extent that they force accommodation, if not capitulation, to the terrorists. Traditionally, because they direct their attacks against unsuspecting civilians, terrorists have been treated like criminals. That classification delegitimizes any claim they might have to ideological purity of purpose--properly so, because there is no justification, except perverse ones, for killing civilians, a prohibition that should cover nations at war as well. In fact, the Dog says put the fucks who are hot for a fight in a steel cage on a deserted island and let them have at it until no one is left standing, but that's another issue.

In his "Talk of the Town" for the May 15 New Yorker on the sentencing of Zacarias Moussaoui, the putative 20th September 11 hijacker to life in prison, rather than death, Hendrik Hertzberg observes, almost in passing, that the "war on terriors [sic]" has a large element of 'crime fighting.' Sadly, that's about as far as anyone in the mainstream press travels down the road not to Xanadu but to sanity. Journalists are in the business of reporting what is, after all, and there is a 'war on terriors,' declared by the Emperor Boy George, for whom the world turned after 9/11 primarily because he'd been caught bushbucking and fishing while the Osama schemed. In war, both the ideological idiots got the nonreality based crusade they wanted--a battle in the name of god as well as civilization. That's purity of purpose, to be sure.

But in accepting the Osama's grandiose vision and seeking to trump him--let it be said that the Emperor Boy George was to ignorant and arrogant to do anything else--the Emperor Boy George W., and the politicians and press who gleefully followed him into war--and let it be said that they were too cowed and cowardly, not too mention blindly vengeful, to do otherwise--gave "terror" and "terrorists" a standing as "enemy combatants" they should never have had.

Terrorists are criminals. They should be hunted down and brought to the bar of justice--or in extremis, shot, like mad dogs.

They are not treated that way because the sleeping Emperor Boy George in waking to the World Trade Center towers' collapse had either to admit the full depth of his failure or declare 9/11 the equivalent of Christ's birth--a signal event in world history, which the Emperor Boy George was chosen to interpret and avenge. In doing so, he provided reporters with the story of a lifetime--and no second thoughts in many of those cases until recently. The 'war on terriors' was their war, after all, their ticket to the Show.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Where It Is Now

The Dog is recovering from the fracture of his left femure on Palm Sunday, thanks in no small measure to a titanium rod running the length of bone, where marrow once resided. The surgery and recovery have left him a little out of the loop, but not so much that he can't reiterate that this Bushbucker is the worst president the dowager republic has seen--so much the worst that his nearest competitors aren't even specs on a fading horizon. He has damaged the economy, the government, the military, the polity, the health care 'system,' and America's longstanding signal of freedom and oportunity--damaged is too mild a word. But beyond all of that, he has violated his oath to uphold the Constitution and faithfully execute the laws of the land--by ignoring and breaking those he doesn't like--and, from all appearances, he has violated the Geneva Conventions and the International Convention on Human Rights by ordering people held without due process and by approving, if not actually ordering, kidnappings, murders, and toture of prisoners. He and everyone is his Administration who participated in--is still participating in--these crimes against humanity should be hauled to the Hague and tried before the International Court of Justice.