Friday, August 08, 2008

A Novel Approach to Politics

By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship
August 9, 2008

ABC News’ political blog, “The Note,” points out this week that Paris Hilton is issuing policy statements while John McCain nominates his wife for a topless beauty contest. The world’s turned upside down.

Who could blame a person for thinking that chronicling such oddness is beyond the skills of simple journalists? This is a job for the novelists.

Read on.

3 comments:

Bill from Saginaw said...

Congratulations on finally getting the famous phrase attributed to Colin Powell correct: If you break it, you buy it.

Virtually every commentator who stirs this quote into discussions of Iraq occupation policy invariably misquotes it as "If you break it, you own it." As anyone can see, there is an enormous conceptual difference between the two ideas, and a big, predictable difference in how you are likely to act towards the rightful owner of the busted artifact in question.

I thought it must have been the Onion at work when I first saw the video of McCain at the Sturgis bike rally, offering to enter his wife in the raunchy topless beauty contest there whose winner is crowned "Miss Buffalo Chip." I just can't imagine JFK offering up Jackie that way in jest, or even Ronnie yucking it up with the boys to that extent at Nancy's expense.

Yet today's news is even weirder. There's a report out that a major End-of-Times Book of Revelations theologian is speculating that John McCain is the antichrist. No kidding. It has something to do with his declaration about staying in Baghdad for the next 100 years if need be. You're right, it really might help to be a novelist rather than a journalist to keep up with scoops of the day like this.

But on a much more substantive and somber note, both McClatchy and AP are circulating more leaks today from the endless, ongoing US occupation/Maliki regime negotiations over a status of forces agreement that may signal a significant next twist in the surge scenario.

According to these news accounts (sourced to official Iraqi participants in the secret talks), Bush may be willing to sign a deal on future military bases, private contractor immunity, air space sovereignty and so forth that publicly commits the US to pull American troops out of all Iraqi cities to inside base compounds by the summer of 2009, and then withdraw all combat troops out of the country by the end of 2011. It's all hush-hush, and at a very delicate stage of negotiations right now, but stay tuned.....

Why does this sound familiar to me?

Oh, I remember now.

In the 1972 presidential election, Richard Nixon put George McGovern in a box and gift wrapped him home by claiming to voters that similar breakthroughs were imminent in the super-secret Paris talks between Kissinger and the North Vietnamese.

Peace was at hand. A peace with honor. Right over there just beyond the horizon. Unless the electorate does something really stupid, like upset the deal at this critical historic moment by electing a President who will give away everything that our patient diplomacy is on the verge of achieving right now.

Well, it worked for Nixon in '72.

Given the slavish homage paid by the mainstream US media to the grand success of the surge, I'd keep a close eye on this ploy of Bush "conceding" a US troop withdrawal deadline of sorts to Maliki, at this particular point in the election cycle.

Who benefits politically? The party of Bush, and the party of Maliki. Or so it seems to me.

Fool me once, fool me twice.....

Bill from Saginaw

lokywoky said...

I for one am sick to death of the US government blaming the Iraqis because they haven't rebuilt stuff - or their government hasn't done this or that.

Under international law - a country that invades another country illegally - which we did - is required to pay reparations to the other country. In fact after the first Gulf War - Iraq was require to and did, pay reparations to Kuwait for its illegal invasion of same. Using the same law, the US is required to pay reparations to Iraq. The fact that our contractors have been essentially stealing the money is no excuse. We broke it - now we have to buy it.

On the government - the Iraqi constitution (and I use that word very very loosely) is another illegal construct. Every provision in it had to be approved by Bremer before it was submitted to the Iraqi parliament for a sham approval. There are provisions in that document that no self-respecting supposedly sovereign government would ever dream of - but this crap was all forced down the throats of an occupied nation. The Maliki government has been stalling the SOFA agreement - and with good reason. It supposedly was going to be signed in June of 2008, but all of a sudden the date was 2009. Good for Maliki. He's hoping that with a new (hopefully Obama) administration, he can just opt out of the thing altogether - as he has every right to do if he is as Bushco says 'leader of a sovereign nation' and why should he sign something written entirely to favor the occupying power?

We keep complaining they haven't signed the oil sharing agreement - maybe it's because most of the 'sharing' is with the US global mega-oil companies - rather than with the three Iraqi sects.

Pffft!

We SHOULD be rebuilding that country. We gave every excuse in the book why we invaded - all lies as we all well know now. The real reason - control of the Iraqi oil - is illegal as well. So why are we complaining about paying for the mess we made.

Make BUSH and CHENEY pony up some money! Stop soaking the taxpayers - and STOP BLAMING THE IRAQIS!!!

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