Monday, December 28, 2015

Let's you and him fight

Believe me whan I say that I am seldom surprised when the stupidity and overall fatuousness of the U.S. public is exposed.

Still, this brought even me to a standstill:

The graphic is from a Fallows post in his Chickenhawk Nation series and in the manner of pictures is worth a thousand words.

This image makes me almost physically ill. Almost two-thirds of my fellow "citizens" want to fight the Islamic State; want to send their fellow citizens - again - to fight a land war in Asia against jihadis who want my Army brothers there killing people and wrecking shit because of the success it brought them when we tried and inevitably failed in Iraq. Almost the exact same proportion of these cowardly shitheels want someone else to do the actual fighting, someone not their precious snowflake selves.

I don't think that my country has changed all that much over the years. Enough retrospective accounts of the "Greatest Generation" have emerged to correct the wartime propaganda tales of American heroes fighting to get at the dirty Japs and filthy Huns. Were there a lot of volunteers? Sure. Were there also a hell of a lot of people looking for cushy Stateside billets, cozy hidey-holes in noncombat service jobs, and deferments? You bet your ass.

But this...this is really beyond disgusting.

First, because the entire notion is both stupid (it failed huge when we tried it when the Iraq-Syria was still actual sorta-kinda Westphalian states instead of the colossal shitmire of failed-statedom-and-Sunni-rebellion it is now) and obviously so. It's not like we don't KNOW that this hasn't worked and why.

Second, because the geopolitical setting for this stupid is completely different from the sort of problem we faced in 1941. Germany and Japan had actual armies, navies, and air forces. They could have really defeated our armed forces and destroyed the United States. There was really no other option between victory and defeat. This is, instead, a classic "cabinet war", something that We the People can choose to do or not do without risking any real danger more serious than that presented by the random drunk driver or household slip-trip-fall.

Worse. Shoving U.S. armed force into this meatgrinder - short of deciding to become an open empire and conquering and occupying the places the Ottomans themselves couldn't hold - is in itself a defeat; as Sun Tzu would remind us, if you are fighting without an obtainable goal you have already lost.

But damn near two-thirds of my "fellow Americans" are too fucking stupid to see that and too fucking selfish to put their own asses on the line to back up their own stupidity.

Honestly. These fucking people...


Ael said...

Merry New Year Chief!

I cut normal folk some slack here. They have no time or interest in places like Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan. Accordingly, I would expect their opinions to be reflections of what they are hearing from their opinion leaders. (Politicians/ Media personalities).

I do, however, blame the opinion leaders. Intensely.

They are the same fools that started this round of idiocy in the Middle East and they continue to throw Molotov cocktails at the foundations of our global civilization.

I don't know why they behave so poorly, but I suspect corruption and greed lies at the heart of the matter. We can't afford to let them continue their dangerous practices. The world needs to get its shit together.


FDChief said...

Sorry, no.

The difference between being a subject and being a citizen is that the latter REQUIRES you to be informed and make intelligent decisions based on that information. Being mislead by charlatans or fools is not an excuse; citizens must be informed and intelligent enough to distinguish them from actual homo sapiens.

That, and any sane human being should be immediately skeptical of the idea that more rubble = less trouble. You don't have to be a freaking geopolitical genius to see the wreckage that disasters like the Gulf Wars, the Arab-Israeli Wars, and the assorted shitshows in Africa, Asia, and South America that have produced MORE trouble.

I'm not irked because people don't want to go die in some Third World shithole. But, again, being informed and intelligent citizens, they should also be consistent and not want to send OTHER poor sonsofbitches to die in said shitholes.

And needless to say, the only way the "the world gets its shit together" is that individuals get THEIR shit together and stop cutting themselves and each other slack. Change happens one death, or one wising-up, at a time. We ALL need to quit doping off or this exact sort of thing is going to continue, to our own cost. This isn't something that hurts "them"; it hurts "us", and the fact that we don't see that doesn't change it...

Ael said...

Ass, alligators, swamp.

Middle East shit shows are simply not important enough to get past cognitive filters. Hence, one simply parrots back whatever it is that they were fed.

It is the third party problem all over again. How do you boost enough people out of their ruts to make meaningful changes to established policies. The Great Depression acted as a wake up call. The Great Recession, not so much.

FDChief said...

That's my problem with this, tho, Ael. A healthy republic (or any other representative democratic polity) depends on the voting citizens going out and forcing themselves to learn - at least the bare bones minimum - about things that impact their nation.

Good example; pretty much every single Republican candidate - hell, the Republican Party platform - has an "economic plan" that will result in a gross transfer of wealth upwards, a diminution of quality of life for the middle and lower classes (either through decreased social safety provisions or continuation of the capital flight that has denuded the nation of "living wage" jobs), and an overall increase in the economic and social conditions that can be realistically characterized as the "New Gilded Age".

It's not partisanship to say that, it's just reality. You can argue that the Rich ARE different, that wealth SHOULD go to the wealthy, that we SHOULD be ruled by our corporate masters...but you can't really square that with "Equal Justice Under Law" and "We the People" and you shouldn't be able to succeed of you do.

But a good 30-40% of the nation - and that has to include a hell of a lot of people whose lives will suck a hell of a lot more under such a regime - has absolutely NO trouble with accepting that as a viable option for a democratic republic.

A lot of that is on the "news" media...but a lot of that is on the People for being lazy and stupid and being happy to be lazy and stupid.

I agree that "Middle East shitshows" aren't a real issue. But what the U.S. DOES about Middle East shitshows impacts us all, and as such We the People should be informed enough and intelligent enough about them to make good decisions.

Perfect example; Obama makes a speech in which he lays out what is, frankly, probably too aggressive an agenda for dealing with the Islamic State. Too expansive, too intrusive, too likely to produce blowback while being unlikely to produce any sort of favorable result. And he probably knows that. His advisors are probably - hopefully - telling him the truth, that no amount of foreign intervention short of a massive, multi-decade hegemony and complete imposition of a foreign-backed local satrap can hope to change the conditions that have produced the Islamic State (and likely not even then...).

But he can't say that. He can't say "Well, we're pretty much fucked, so all we can really do is damage control, fiddle around the edges of this shithole and try and push the local actors to go where we want them to while in the meantime try not to over-react and produce worse outcomes when they succeed in killing some of us, as they will..." because the flying monkeys of the Right and all the cable news morons will go completely batshit.

So he lays out a fairly reasonable set of options...and the flying monkeys and morons go completely batshit.

And the public eats it up. Look at the poll numbers. The public is a complete ass.

I really don't have a good answer for this. I'd like to think that we can elect Sanders, throw the monkeys out of the state houses and the federal House and start slowly working back to some sort of sanity. But I don't think we can. That's why I say; I think we're just fucked.

Podunk Paul said...

We talk a lot about the victims of exploitation, but the perpetrators also suffer. Americans have grown more piggish and more afraid as the crimes they condone multiply. Being what they think of as “tough” and “realistic” assuages the guilt. And the effect is not confined to the political right. Something like half the comments on this morning’s Balloon Juice #NotABugSplat post defend assassination by drone.

BigFred said...

I believe the solution to the 3rd party issue is to stop the direct election of the Senate. I know what that would take, and what it would cost, but I believe it to be worth it. And I vote for the team that you do not.

FDChief said...

Here's a good illustration of how thoroughly we're fucked:

"But when Trump dismissed the endorsement by saying that Gowdy’s Benghazi hearings were “a total disaster,” you could almost hear Republican voters nodding in agreement. The special committee was just one more iteration of the pattern that has Republican voters so disgusted with their Washington leadership: touted as the vehicle to bring down Hillary Clinton, it ended up backfiring and doing nothing but make Republicans look foolish. So once again, Capitol Hill Republicans overpromised and showed their constituents that they’re ineffectual."

But here's the thing; there never was anything to "Benghazi". The entire notion that somehow a Congressional committee could use "Benghazi" to hang Clinton higher than Haman was a ridiculous fantasy, a fragile flower raised in the dung of Breitbart in the hothouse of the Limbaugh hothouse. There never was anything there.

But the slack-jawed rubes believed there was because they were repeatedly told there was. Hell, Rush and Glenn and every fucking FOX news spouter kept telling them there was. How the hell could Gowdy NOT nail the HilBitch to the wall, eh? WTF, eh?

I mean, you're entitled to your own opinions, and those opinions can be as whackadoodle as may be. My own opinions are pretty fucking strident, so I can hardly call the pot, kettle, etc...

But you're not entitled to your own facts, and this seems to have been consumed in the wingnut Rage Machine that has been cranking hard ever since the Eighties.

This country needs a conservative party, or conservative wings of multiple parties. But, goddamn it, those parties, and those wings, can't just unilaterally declare independence from the laws of physics, which is what has effectively happened. When your ideas are put into practice and fail, you need to re-evaluate those ideas and discard them. If more rubble = more trouble, you have to accept that. If oligarchy means more suckitude for the non-oligarchs you gotta buy off on that.

The echo chamber the Right in this country means not having to do that, and it's beginning to show in the level of Visible Crazy on display.

Believe me, I'm NOT happy about that. As a lefty I need a sane Right to debate and confront me. But I can't do that with these people. They're batshit, and that's bad for both of us.