No More Tie That Yellow Ribbon
This is the first news of the day. We drove all over the place, towing, today. At first we noticed something odd. There were no yellow or any kind of magnet on cars. At first we thought this was a fluke but as the day wore on, counting the ribbons, we saw exactly two.
Just last week we saw on the average, two per car, it seemed. What happened? Why this sudden sea change? This is upstate NY, a fairly red area. This change of attitude seemed nearly universal. Not only that, the American flags were pretty invisible, too, on the cars. When the yellow ribbons first appeared, we thought this was rather funny since the sentiment means "bring home those who are far away" not "support the troops" which had to be emblazoned on these magnets. Schizoid thinking characterises much of America today. We would have thought that a yellow ribbion+support the troops would mean keeping the troops from harm's way but this wasn't the sentiment, it was, send troops all over the place and teach everyone a lesson and bring 'em on. It is interesting that ABC has a news story this week saying everyone is putting on these magnets because they support the war! If so, Houston, we have a problem....
Now this is all blowing up in our faces and sentiment is turning. This month, more than half of Americans want this war to end, now. The other half seemingly wants it to roar onwards only they have no gumption to fight, themselves, so military recruitment has collapses, as this and other blogs have detailed.
Before the war, people polled said they would tolerate up to 1,500 American dead. This point has been passed with no sign of slowing down, indeed, despite keeping the troops penned up tightly and not interacting with the Iraqis, the death toll has stubbornly remained around 15+ per week. The casualty toll is 10 times that. Many missing arms, legs, brain damage, serious face burns now fill the military hospitals. As the polls suggested, support for this is collapsing.
It is interesting seeing how many "support the troops" magnets have disappeared. I, personally, am very offended by them since the people flashing these things often vote against taxing themselves to pay the $100 billion a year for this war. I want to personally shake them and demand why they aren't signing up to fight. Evidently, I am not alone in this sentiment.
Before the war, we went to DC to protest the coming war and we wrote many letters and yelled a great deal about this war. "Iraq is shaped like a bag and it has almost no exit but through the mouth, it is a cul de sac", I wrote back then. Just looking at the map, one can see why invading that place is a bad strategic move. The "friendliness" of the regimes surrounding Iraq range from white hot hatred in Iran and Syria to disgust and anger in Turkey to near revolutionary frevor of hatred in the people of Saudi Arabia. If the leaders of those regimes support our bleeding to death they do this for two cynical reasons: one, it gravely weakens American power and two, it binds America closer to them so we will spill our blood to keep them in power no matter how painful it is for us or how even more unpopular we become with the masses.
We lost Vietnamese hearts and minds but in this case, with our crusade in the Middle East, we are actively creating open hatred. The faces of fury in Afghanistan isn't a joke.
Yesterday, Bush and the Pentagon, to further terrorize the Muslims who were rioting over our flushing the Koran down the toilet, issued a story that the USA used a Predator missile in Pakistan to kill a "top" al Qaeda member which in English means we blew up another village of peasants in the mountains there. This "wonderful victory" sent the dictator of Pakistan to the press with this:
Pakistan has denied US media reports that a senior al-Qaeda leader has been killed on Pakistani soil by an unmanned US Predator drone.
Several US television networks said the al-Qaeda member, Haitham al-Yemeni, was killed near the Afghan border by a missile fired from the aircraft.
We think we are very clever using semi robotic killing machines to attack people all over the earth without bothering to tell the host nations that we are invading their airspace to assassinate people.
This follows the Washington DC scare. The fury we feel when others decide to send assassination teams to attack us is unbounded. How dare they. Anyone want to guess how long it will be before teams of robot drones bearing missiles and nukes will be hunting us?
It is inevitable. Tit for tat. Ask North Korea who is following this stuff and frantically working on building replicas.
Meanwhile, at the Cannes Film Festival, audiences are watching a movie about American and British paranoia.
A British documentary arguing U.S. neo-conservatives have exaggerated the terror threat is set to rock the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, the way "Fahrenheit 9/11" stirred emotions here a year ago.
"The Power of Nightmares" re-injected politics into the festival that seemed eager to steer clear of controversy this year after American Michael Moore won top honors in 2004 for his film deriding President George W. Bush's response to terror.
At a screening late on Friday ahead of its gala on Saturday, "The Power of Nightmares" by filmmaker and senior BBC producer Adam Curtis kept an audience of journalists and film buyers glued to their seats and taking notes for a full 2-1/2 hours.
The film, a non-competition entry, argues that the fear of terrorism has come to pervade politics in the United States and Britain even though much of that angst is based on carefully nurtured illusions.
Actually, we have very good reason to be paranoid. This is because paranoia is closely allied with symptoms of schizophrenia and no one is as schizoid as our American government. Boastful and cruel, killing all and sundry who oppose us, inserting our troops into Uzbekistan helping the dictator there kill many hundreds of people, we spout off about democracy and revolution, even, going to Russia to complain about supporting dictators then blandly supporting dictators in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan and then...we will be attacked again. Will the paranoia and schizophrenia team up to create a hopelessly inept and stupid response to real dangers?
We are betting this will happen.