Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dick Cheney and American Average-ism

Dick Cheney is out with another "exciting" leak from his book. Actually, it's a leak squared because Cheney is leaking that President Bush ordered a leak to David Ignatius about the situation in Iraq in 2007.

“On Tuesday morning, May 22 [2007]," Cheney writes, "a David Ignatius column appeared in the Washington Post titled ‘After the Surge: The Administration Floats Ideas for a New Approach in Iraq.’ It quoted administration officials on the need to revamp policy in order to attract bipartisan support and to take into account the fact that the surge might not have the stabilizing effect we had hoped.

In the final analysis, what Dick Cheney has to say in his book isn't very significant. It's what Cheney did as Vice-President that counts and Cheney ultimately made the U. S. much more of an average authoritarian country. Promoting the illegal invasion of Iraq, introducing torture into American treatment of terror suspects, the emergency rendition of terror suspects to countries where they would be tortured, maintaining a set of secret CIA prisons, and perverting the whole legal structure of American government in defense of torture all made our country much more like Castro's Cuba, Mubarak's Egypt, Gaddafi's Libya, and Assad's Syria than we had been.

Of course, the extension of the Arab Spring into the Libyan Summer and the Syrian Fall means that the U. S. is losing a number of our more brutal fellow-travelers. In a rapidly changing world, it's hard to stay average for very long.

What Was I Doing for Those Two Years?

Given that much as American conservatism is about the denial of reality, it's always interesting to follow the new twists in reality denial. Here, conservative Mission America commentator Linda Harvey denies that there's any such thing as gay, lesbian, bi-sexuals, or transgendered (LGBT) people.

There’s one big fact that’s not backed up. There is no proof that there’s ever anything like a gay, lesbian or bisexual or transgendered child, or teen or human. One of the other things you’re gonna see as I mentioned is a big campaign GLSEN’s gonna roll out this year calling for 'respect,' respect! Not just for people, but for homosexual lifestyle. The PR campaign to hold up gay as a good thing: the lifestyle, not the person, because there are no such humans.

During the 1980's, I worked as a cook and busboy at a gay bar in Philadelphia. Now I guess I have to wonder what I was "really" doing those two years.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today's Supposedly Big Dick Cheney Revelation

Dick Cheney's been saying that his soon-to-be-published memoir is going to make "heads explode."

Dick Cheney is already promising there will be “heads exploding all over Washington” when his new book hits stores Tuesday. The 46th vice president made that declaration in an interview with NBC -- portions of which were aired on the Today Show Wednesday morning -- as he embarked on a media blitz to promote the book, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir.”

I'm not sure why though. The big revelation being leaked today is that Cheney advocated the bombing of Syria. I wouldn't have been surprised if Cheney had wanted to bomb Paris and Bonn . . . or LA and New York for that matter. The fact that he wanted to bomb Syria is hardly news.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Libya: Obama Handled It Right

Libyan Revolutionaries have taken over large areas of Tripoli and are reported to have captured two of Qaddafi's sons. They deserve a great deal of credit for founding a new nation on the wreckage of the dictatorship.

Also deserving credit is Barack Obama. Much as the killing of bin Laden was a validation of Obama's Afghanistan policy, the triumph of the Libyan Revolution has validated Obama's approach to the Arab spring in general and Libya in particular. Obama provided the Libyan movement with moral and military support. But the United States refused to invade Libya, overthrow Qaddafi, and win the revolution for the protesters. By limiting American support, the Obama administration forced the Libyans to win their revolution themselves and the positive effects frofm that will be felt for decades to come.