No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post
Nonetheless, the Obama administration insists it is not a war. Why? Because, according to “United States Activities in Libya,” a 32-page report that the administration released last week, “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof, or any significant chance of escalation into a conflict characterized by those factors.”
In other words, the balance of forces is so lopsided in favor of the United States that no Americans are dying or are threatened with dying. War is only war, it seems, when Americans are dying, when we die. When only they, the Libyans, die, it is something else for which there is as yet apparently no name. When they attack, it is war. When we attack, it is not.
Combat operations have concluded for:
- Marine Cpl. Gurpreet Singh, 21, of Antelope, CA.
- Army Spc. Levi E. Nuncio, 24, of Harrisonburg, VA.
- Army Pfc. Joshua L. Jetton, 21, of Sebring, FL.
- Marine Lance Cpl. Jared C. Verbeek, 22, of Visalia, CA.
- Army Sgt. James W. Harvey II, 23, of Toms River, NJ.
- Army Pfc. Gustavo A. Rios-Ordonez, 25, of Englewood, OH.
- Marine Pfc. Josue Ibarra, 21, of Midland, TX.
- Army Pfc. Brian J. Backus, 21, of Saginaw Township, MI.
- Army Spc. Tyler R. Kreinz, 21, Beloit, WI.
- Army Sgt. Alan L. Snyder, 28, Worcester, MA.
- Army Sgt. Edward F. Dixon III, 37, of Whiteman Air Force Base, MO.
- Army Sgt. 1st Class Alvin A. Boatwright, 33, of Lodge, SC.
- Army Spc. Scott D. Smith, 36, of Indianapolis, IN.
There’s a lot of unhappiness with national Democrats in general, and the Obama administration in particular, for their unwillingness to address the cratering economy with what we know works and instead going along with Dark Ages conventional wisdom. At the other side of the left is the partisan equivalent of the George W. Bush 20% dead-enders who bitterly accuse some liberals of not clapping hard enough and of being insufficiently supportive.
I strongly disagree with the latter group. Blame for the big GOP gains last year is not on the shoulders of the disgruntled and discouraged portion of the left that didn’t apply the same energy it did two years prior. If a party shows poorly in an election, do you know who’s responsible? The party. Democrats failed to highlight Republican intransigence and instead bent over backwards to accommodate a party that was only interested in obstruction. Then on the campaign trail they failed to articulate a forward looking agenda. No one - not even a political junkie - could say what major policy initiatives the D’s had lined up should they have retained their majorities.
There’s no Constitutional requirement for a two party system. Flirting with, or actively supporting, a third party when the Big Two are not addressing the most urgent issues in one’s life is not naivete. Blaming anyone on the left for the big Republican gains last year is as stupid as blaming Ralph Nader for Al Gore losing the 2000 election. Know when Gore lost the election? On the night of his acceptance speech when he emptily declared “I will fight for you” and then made out with his wife. He figured America wanted to see him differentiate himself from Bill Clinton, and his response was basically “I’ll never get a blow job from an intern!” Instead of, say, distancing himself from NAFTA and the WTO, welfare “reform,” the Defense of Marriage Act, the repeal of Glass-Steagall (which some at the time understood the consequences of), and so on, he distanced himself on private morals.
Ralph Nader was not responsible for that.
To tell anyone who watched that to fall in line and vote Gore or it’s all your fault if he loses and how do you feel about your pathetic little civic tantrum now that George Bush is president? is an act of political nihilism. Politicians need to inspire you to vote for them. You can cast your vote for who moves you, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
All that said, if you don’t like America plunging into long, horrific, expensive, intractable wars there’s a very good reason to work like hell to make sure a Democrat is always in the White House. Simply put: That is the only known contemporary circumstance under which Republicans will behave somewhat in the neighborhood of approximately human on foreign policy. When a Democrat is president Republicans actually take their Constitutional obligations seriously. They’ll actually look at what we are doing and openly question it. The terrified, paranoid, frenzied lizard brain id that rages just below the surface of right wing ideology is actually kept in check when a Democrat is commander-in-chief. That’s all the reason any antiwar activist needs to work energetically to re-elect Obama. The “not a dime’s worth of difference” critique has some traction at the national level when it comes to domestic policy; on foreign policy there’s a world of difference.
There’s also a world of difference between the parties at the state and local levels. Anyone know of a Republican analogue to Lena Taylor?
Five myths about Americans in prison
Why do I love Naked Capitalism? Posts like this, and quotes like this: “Walsh has finally stooped to offering up straight up unadulterated bullshit[.]” As that last link shows, Smith has a flair for catchy headlines.
John Cole is a very rare creature: A high traffic blogger who will candidly admit error: “I could go on and on with the emails and the pieces from other people I trust, but I’ll just save some time, admit I was wrong, and say sorry to D-Day for being a dick. I often write in haste and anger, and a lot of times blow it and lash out at people.” I really admire that.
A nice overview of how the right wing noise machine works.
Shallow blogger confession: I like Buzz Feed. I’d like to give some sort of “I read it for the articles” line, and certainly their love of highlighting absurdity means they brush up against political relevance from time to time, but the truth of the matter is I go there for the hilarious videos and the eye candy.
ECONNED EXCERPT from page 143, on how investment banks slowly evolved from serving their clients to screwing them:
Trading kept increasing in importance during this period, and the change had wider ramifications. Underwriting and other fee businesses are service businesses. You want your client to believe you have done a good job so that he will come back to you. Reputations and perceptions matter. The job description of a trader, by contrast, is to make as much as he can, whether in an impersonal market, or against the firm’s customers. Investment banks performing services for clients have reasons to try to establish a strong image for professionalism (even if some of that might be smoke and mirrors). But to put it bluntly, the constraint on salesmen and traders is simply to steer clear of scandals and regulatory violations.