Thursday, March 31, 2011

Peace in Pieces Prize

This morning I took the dog out for our morning constitution (no pun intended), and while I was staring at the piles of crap gradually being uncovered in the yard from the melting snow, I though to myself “wow, what a big mess to clean up.” Then I turned around to see that Bird-Dog had decided to take another fresh dump right in the middle of the damned driveway. Pretty much sums up American foreign policy.
Obama said he did not feel he deserved "to be in the company" of past Peace Prize winners, but would accept the prize while pushing for a broad range of international objectives...”
No shit? On a related post back in October of 2009 I lampooned the President on getting the Nobel Peace Prize, and in retrospect, it seems I was entirely too nice.
(more below the fold)

Judging by heated reaction around the tubes, especially amongst the “liberal” and “progressive” positions – both “for” and “against” - the Libya conflict is sure to deepen distrust amongst not only the Arab world, but also right here at home. Regardless of one’s perspective, the US probably could have generated more goodwill by instead devoting these resources to say, maybe helping Japan out more, but I guess explosions make for better instant gratification. And as far as creating more jobs, when it comes to exporting death, business is booming. See, when you sell the guilty party weapons in the first place, you've lost the moral high ground:
"In 2009 alone, European governments - including Britain and France - sold Libya more than $470 million worth of weapons, including fighter jets, guns and bombs. And before it started calling for regime change, the Obama administration was working to provide the Libyan dictator another $77 million in weapons, on top of the $17 million it provided in 2009 and the $46 million the Bush administration provided in 2008." - Truthout
Well now at last some Middle Eastern countries are joining in the orgy: Quatar and the United Arab Emirates have strapped on their big guns and jumped into the sandbox too. Gee, take a guess where they bought their toys?
Apologists parse the point that "but... this is different" because we don’t have “boots on the ground” as a relative moral justification for the USA to be for blowing shit up, again, in yet another country:
“First and most importantly, there are no troops on the ground. This is the element that will remain key to my support for the intervention. As long as the strikes are systematic and only from the air, it rules out the possibility of an occupation, which is something that I can never support.”
Sure, that and “I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman.” This is a common refrain that is somehow supposed to make us feel better: that we won’t get our hands dirty by simply pushing buttons and using a remote control, like this is all some sort of insanely awesome video game. That's how screwed up we’ve become as a nation, anesthetized through the sanitizing distance of our war games, where the rules are made up as we go along:
"The Obama Administration also requested Foreign Military Financing assistance for Libya for the first time in FY2010, with the goal of providing assistance to the Libyan Air Force in developing its air transport capabilities and to the Libyan Coast Guard in improving its coastal patrol and search and rescue operations." - Congressional Research Service
Many of us lost patience with this administration in prolonging involvement in Afghanistan (going swimmingly) and Iraq, to say nothing of a multitude of other covert actions around the globe. And so to hear yet another President echoing the same, well... torturous war rhetoric we've all heard before, and to watch and see images of the US at it again is at first heartbreaking, then depressing, and then the bullshit meter goes off the scale.
Let's hear what candidate Obama had to say on the matter during a Dec. 20, 2007 interview with the Boston Globe:
“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama responded.
“As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States,” Obama continued. “In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch.” - from Daily KOS comment thread
And as for the argument that it’s a UN-sanctioned now a NATO party that the US was invited to shoot off their fireworks for: I’ll bet Obama won’t even bat an eye explaining to his children that “just because other people are doing it to doesn’t make it right to join in.” 

I drew this panel on the 22nd, sitting on it for a week while waiting for the print version to run first (now appearing in the newest issue of The Ester Republic). In the meantime, I've kept monitoring the unfolding narrative, culminating with the most recent speech where the President attempt to justify himself on national TV. If anything, after listening and watching him, I'm even more pissed off now than I was a week ago.
“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — [pauses] — shame on you. Fool me — [pauses] — You can't get fooled again.” – G.W. Bush
To those who would say I'm being too simplistic (like "War is not healthy for children and other living things" and all those other annoying hippie bumperstickers) are absolutely correct
Problem is... the last time I checked, really complicated, smart people still somehow manage to completely fuck things up
All the time in fact.

On that note, here is an thoroughly appropriate accompaniment (second only to Jon Stewart's "America at Not War" segment):

No comments:

Post a Comment