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Friday, May 05, 2006

must work

"We must perhaps reluctantly accept that we have to help this region become a normal region, the way we helped Europe and Asia in another era. Now it's this area from Pakistan to Morocco that we should focus on…"

-- Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to Iraq



Normal.

NORMAL.

Bizarre when a Pashtun mouths a white man's ethnocentricity. It hackles my shorties more than hearing it spew forth from the real villians. But, I suppose the proposition of whether we 'normalized' Europe and Asia in another era should be examined first ... ah hell, i just don't have the energy.

How can you argue with that kind of cemented bias?

Normal ... christ.

- - -

bring your death to me,
your greed to me,
your lust
for power,
land,
gold and godly glory.

set your image upon,
those smudged faces upon,
whom you trample
with boots weighted steely and worn.

and carry forth your torch,
astride one of four pale horse,
bringing civilization's scalding flame,
to any and all found in the way,
of what we call
un-normal.

~

38 comments:

shawndoggy said...

dang, dude, what is "normal?" Or better yet, what is "right?" Education of women, women's sufferage, a woman's right to own property, the universal right to education for children (of both genders), the right to criticize one's government without the fear of torture ... all pretty tough stuff to argue with from my high-n-mighty western perspective. To the extent that those ends are the goal, let's do it. Sure there's the "why there, vs. here or here or this other place," argument, but, well the squeeky wheel gets the greese.

Now if the goal is compromise your religious beliefs, love the united states, etc., well, I think we've got to come to grips with the fact that THAT is a really tough sell. Take Iran -- even discounting the "devil america" rhetoric (which we arguably deserve after portraying Iran as part of an "Axis of Evil"), there you've got a relatively educated, relatively moderate nation for the region. And they want nukes. And why not... the USA has them and what makes us any better than them except that we got there first? To the extent "normalizing" means bending to the will of Washington, that's going to be a problemo for generations to come...

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

the ends justify the means...

a reluctant ... sigh.

Velo Bella said...

Not only do we have the nukes, but so does Israel. How can we face the rest of the world and say that we want no nukes in Iran, while we support nukes in Isreal?

Maybe we can bribe the rest of the world with a $100 payout each.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

nagasaki ... my skin curdles with shame every second i think on it.

naga-fucking-saki.


normalization in another era through nuclear weapons.

... i need a drink.

Velo Bella said...

Stout delivery is coming soon...

Merkeley Bike said...

Way back when in his first campaign didn't the prez (then govenor) tell us he didn't beleive in 'Nation Building'. Not that I voted for the guy but wtf. Maybe someone can point out an example of a 'Normalized' country that has a stable government.

I'm sure the $100 buyout would be the cheapest route.

Velojuice said...

The sad part is there is some poor soul in this country that $100 could put some more food on the table for another couple weeks, and in India or Africa that $100 could last for months. The fact that they think $100 idea is going to fly while Big Oil and Haliburton are making Billions on the backs of the resxt of us in insulting at best. Beer me, and keep it coming.

vj

Kirkpatrick MacMillan said...

why? Because we are the Decider. We got the most nukes of all, baby, so we are the king. Long live the king.

good poem ov... very good. you write that yersef?

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i don't write.

i scribble.

n'thx.

- - -

vb gonna get rewards for bringin' home da' stout.

shawndoggy said...

successful "normalized" countries:
S. Korea ('course we're still stuck w/ NK)
Taiwan
Japan
Germany
Italy
Russia (yeah, that's a little sketchy)

And c'mon, OV, I did not say that the ends justify the means. I do agree with the idea that the "win" must be of the hearts and minds of those in the middle east, but by no means do I think that the way we are going about it or how we got there are the "right" ways. But we're there, and we've created a royal F-ing mess. Do we just bail out now? It's a freaking mess and we've got to do our best to help fix it. We broke it we bought it.

And as for Nagasaki... well, who knows. Japan did declare war on us, and they were rather fanatical about not losing gracefully. Was there a way that WWII could have ended with less cumulative bloodshed in the pacific? Dunno.

And then there's always the argument that what comes around goes around.... I don't think that any of the Chinese or Koreans who were subjected to Japanese rule pre-WWII shed a tear over their oppressors getting theirs.

The point being that while we surely F-it-up on occaision (and of late, more than occaisionally, and on quite a grand scale), there's usually blame to be shared in the world.

diskzero said...

I want no nukes for anybody. I think Iran possessing them makes a lot of people extremely nervous due to their public stance advocating the destruction of Israel.

An attack on Israel by Iran would be a lot like a Chinese attack on Taiwan: WWIII

Let's hope diplomacy is given a chance this time.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

don't make me bust out the Marshall Plan.

ok ... the 'sigh' was a reluctant one of agreement.

but here's where i re-curdle ... the use of the metaphor, 'break it, bought it.'

owww, my tummy hurts.

- - -

And, if I might risk sounding curd-ly ... nagasaki's bombing had nothing to do with Japanese and American casualty counts. It had everything to do with our fear of Russian expansion into Western Europe and that if Russia's entry into the Pacific conflict were allowed/extended, they would demand mo' from the Allies. Come'on, baby.

United States Strategic Bombing Survey states: "The Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs did not defeat Japan, nor by the testimony of the enemy leaders who ended the war did they persuade Japan to accept unconditional surrender. The Emperor, the lord privy seal, the prime minister, the foreign minister and the navy minister had decided as early as May of 1945 that the war should be ended even it meant acceptance of defeat on allied terms." The Survey also states: "On 10 July [1945] the Emperor again urged haste in the moves to mediate through Russia, but Potsdam intervened. While the government still awaited a Russian answer, the Hiroshima bomb was dropped on 6 August." The Survey concluded: "Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

shawndoggy said...

but here's where i re-curdle ... the use of the metaphor, 'break it, bought it.'

owww, my tummy hurts.


No fair to curdle at my metaphor without offering an alternative. Methinks "oops, my bad" won't work very well either. ;^D Solutions, Olaf, you are short on them...

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

ahh ... but shawndoggy, i get to fall back on the "i was against this unjust war in the first place" card.

however, if you would like a more 'realistic' alternative =

1. complete replacement of US involvement in Iraq with United Nations peace-keeping forces with transition controlled by United Nations. Goal of UN forces to, of course, attempt to return stability to a country we broke.

2. funding for said transition costs of troops/materials borne by the United States. Completely. Every cent paid for by the United States.

3. war reparations paid to Iraq by the United States as determined by United Nations.

Please let us return to the core of this debate - this is an unjust war. We invaded a sovereign nation that posed no threat to us, whatsoever.

No threat, whatsoever.

We wanted a colony. We are getting what we deserve.

To be revisionist and say that we have an opportunity now to play democracy builder is ... well, Machiavellian.

cool.

the ends justify the means.

Groove Talking... said...

wow! you guys are heavy.

If there is nothing that you feel you can do to change things, why continue to ponder the misery of it all?

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

because you might vote in the next election.

Velo Bella said...

who said they felt there was nothing they could do?

Besides, isn't even the airing of such opinions doing something? Sort of like that pond ripple theory.

Velo Bella said...

shouldn't you be packing that backpack of yours?

....catch me if you can

Benjaminiac said...

Helen: Now it's perfectly normal...
[is interrupted by Violet]
Violet: Normal? Normal? What do you know about being normal? What does anyone in this family know about being normal?
Helen: Now wait a minute young lady...
Violet: We act normal, mum, I want to be normal, the only normal one around here is Jack-Jack and he's not even toilet trained.
Jack Jack Parr: [bursts out laughing]
Dash: He's lucky... I mean, not about being normal...

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

c'est incroyable!

Groove Talking... said...

my post was not an attack, just my observation.

The pond ripple theory? Yes, and I think the pebble used may work better if it is a positive one.

Hick said...

Ya Know.

I dont agree with everything posted above on either side, BUT as conservative as I have always considered myself to be I love to know how liberal thinking people I respect think about the same subjects that I ponder at times like this.

I personaly think the American people should be more concerned with what we are doing in our own "HOUSE" and let the UN police the world.

*Nagasaki............

We will have to pay for the sins of our fathers at some point, the sooner we understand that the better.

I agree with OV, its shamefull.

ms

Merkeley Bike said...

Awesome discussion on all sides!

PS

successful "normalized" countries:
S. Korea ('course we're still stuck w/ NK)
Taiwan
Japan
Germany
Italy
Russia (yeah, that's a little sketchy)


Given the number of troops we have stationed in most of these countries one might assume that 'Normalized' = Occupied.

Velo Bella said...

Thoughtful discussion is good. Just because one can discuss a situation seriously, does not mean that one is serious.

Well, Sasser probably is.

Nome Agusta said...

I endeavor to be anything but normal.
I am not sure if I am succesful at it or not, but one must try.

I am not alright, I am a little bit to the left.

Hick said...

"Well, Sasser probably is. "


On this topic, Yeppers, most others not so much :)

shawndoggy said...

Bubba ain't gonna hand it over to the UN. It just won't happen. Your standard SUV drivin', soccer playin' kids havin', beer drinkin', football lovin' American voter is never going to support turning the operation over to the UN. Let alone paying reparations. Like, only losers pay reparations, duh.

querry: to whom would reparations be paid without a government? And when I say government, I mean like a mailman to bring you a check? And how much would we pay?

Just or not, those aspirations aren't realistic.

Which is probably why I'm a bad negotiator. I want to cut right through all of the crap to what's possible from the get go. I don't start with a pie in the sky position ... but that means I don't have as much to give, either.

All I know is that in my experience as an adult it hasn't been sucess that's defined me. Rather it's been how I've handled failure. There's no disputing that Iraq is a boondogle. That debate is OVER. The question now is what next. It's not revisionist to try to fix a F-up.

p.s. good luck at the races, eh? Was gonna go, but my bum hip's got me limpin' with a cane. Ugh.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

that damn hip. i was hopin' to see you n' that fam this weekend. you tell her I said hey-hey.

As for the realism, you'll note, that's why i couched my proposed solution in duh quotation marks.

Of course no aMErican government (aside from one that creates a Department of Peace) is ever going to bow to international will and pay war reparations.

And Bubba's administration would, of course, never submit to release control of Iraq to the UN (gasp, think of the oil profit loss!).

However, UN involvement IS a realistic solution to the United State's failure in Iraq. UN involvement in stablizing Iraq would have legitimacy - something the US's imperial aims in Iraq never will.

The UN is the only legitimate way to fix the problem in Iraq.

And, I note that you slide in the context of 'success vs failure' as functional definitions of our presence and withdrawal in Iraq. You dirty lawyer-type, you. Your attempt to change the language of the debate to one of the 'success vs failure' of our actions in Iraq will not go unnoticed.

Our presence in Iraq concretely stems from an illegal, immoral, and unjust invasion of a sovereign country that had broken none of the international laws that attempt to govern war in our time ... laws the United States was integral in crafting and agreed to submit to.

We have 'failed' from the get-go.

Just because the realistic solution is one that causes US pride to take a lickin', don't mean it ain't realistic FOR IRAQ. The US's presence in Iraq will never, NEVER create a stable, humane society in that country. We are an invader, as many others have attempted to do for eons past in a country that will never, never submit to foreign domination (in the long run).

What's the line? ... "You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

- - -

As for who to send war reparation checks to ... uh, sgp, there is a government already in place in Iraq. You know, that puppet group of appointees (but, everyone had the mark on their fingers!!) who governs from inside Fortress Green Zone.

Handing over authority to the United Nations is the only legitimate solution to our invasion of Iraq. The UN's goal, again, would be to create stability in Iraq and truly transfer ruling authority to the Iraqis. Would there be deathly costs and casualties ... yes. But far less resistance and violence than being put forth against the US's occupation of Iraq. The UN would leave and ... eventually, a government of some sort would forge itself in Iraq (hmmm...maybe Saddam wants the job back?). We would pay reparations to that government.

yeah right ... hence the original quote marks and original-original sigh of reluctant agreement.

you dirty lawyer-type.

shawndoggy said...

OV, you are such a pimp that people are spamming your blog.

Nome Agusta said...

Boo frickity hoo!

No, not really, I just like the way that sounds.

Truthfully I have no way of verifying any of this information. So I am going to classify it as a "belief".
"Is there anybody listening?
Is there anyone who smiles without a mask?
What's behind the words--images
they know will please us?"

Queensryche: Anybody Listening

I like that verse becuase it reminds me that we are shown what they want to show us. They allow us to think we know what is going on. Then becuase we think we are informed, we vote. Right! We vote based on a manipulated flow of information.
From one perspective voting can be the most irresponsible thing anyone can do.
I will vote for the person who sits down with me for a glass of vino and answers my questions face to face.
Until then...No me Gusta

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