...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



AOL News:
The U.S. government maintains it does not torture
Let's just stipulate that everyone in America not in a straight jacket or part of a terrorist sleeper cell wants America to "win" -- and center the debate on what, exactly, the president and the GOP mean by victory.

And please, Mr. President, don't give us the usual bromides about stable democracy or Iraq security forces standing up so we can stand down. It's become all-to-clear that those are benchmarks that won't be met in the foreseeable future.
Rupert Murdoch likes Hillary Clinton.
Rupert Murdoch put George Bush in the White House.
Huffington talks about Bush's "script" - meaning not the one he reads from, not the one that's handed to him, but the one he's supposedly been writing, the one he dreams up as he plots his ascent to world domination.
Huffington and many many other relatively intelligent people are making a lot of noise about getting the US military out of Iraq, or portions of it anyway. Point of fact there isn't much talk about getting anything other than soldiers out. No talk of bases closing, no talk at all of a complete US withdrawal of its entire presence there.
Of course that's seen as cowardice and buckling by more than a few people to the right of Hufington.
It is cowardice, at this point.
Until someone can come up with a reasonable honest statement to deliver to the people of Iraq, leaving is nothing more than an act of cowardice - rational cowardice, but that's no oxymoron, cowardice is often rational, too often.
Cowardice weighs the odds and decides its moves based on likely outcomes. Nobility and madness both use other criteria. Not that either one doesn't avail itself of rationality, but it isn't central.
The disgust I normally feel for the erstwhile American liberal left is increasing excrementally.
You have to tell the Iraqis something.
What will it be?
The coward would ignore them and just go, quickly.
That's what you're advocating.
Something needs to be addressed there besides the obvious, that there was a mistake or two that got made.
Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis for one thing. A ruined country for another.
Just leaving is nothing, a perpetuation of the layered deceit and bullshit you act like you oppose on principle.
Let's be honest here, the job is pretty well done, if the job was wrecking Iraq.
That's the only outcome of the invasion and occupation that makes any sense, to wreck the country.
Mission Accomplished.
But you can't just stand there gloating about it.
So put the blame and the shame on the back of George W. Bush and send him home to Texas.
Americans might be interested in what the so-called insurgents of Iraq think the whole thing was all about.
Come to that Americans might be interested in what 9-11 was all about.
Who knows?
Throw up your hands, shrug, walk away, talk about something else.
The party line on the Democrat side is Saddam wasn't responsible for 9-11, ben Laden was, so we should be after him, wherever he is now.
It's still taboo to talk about why.
They twin, those two happenings, that carnage.
Given that American lives are worth 100 or so Iraqi lives we've hit some kind of balance now, haven't we?
What else do those things have in common?
Hillary Clinton won't put an end to torture, or to the Israeli control of the American presence in the Middle East, or to the Israeli control of the news media in the US - but she will provide a strong cathartic flourish, for a moment, a purge of the negativity Bush now wears forever.
It's more complicated than that I know, but not much more.
And until someone articulates, from within the political system, a definite and realistic attitude toward what has been done in Iraq to its people by the United States military, I for one don't see anything else happening at the national level within the traditional American democratic process that would inspire hope.
Locally, regionally, there's a lot of promise - though Harold Ford has a slimy enough affect it seems likely he could deserve the innuendo he's getting laid on him.
Huffington acts like she thinks CNN is waking up from its stupor. Good-hearted right-thinking people joining together, gathering momentum, pretending it's all been a right-wing Republican debacle, that the cause of all this mess resides in something as easy to get rid of as the Bush Administration.
CNN elected Bush, along with Rupert Murdoch and the rest of the big guns of American media. Now it looks and smells like they're prepared to elect Hillary Clinton.
Maybe they're waking up to the enormity of what they've done, but they aren't showing any guilt or remorse that I can see. Still maybe they are, maybe they've seen through the veils and masks, at least far enough to recognize the awfulness of what's happened.
Maybe. Or maybe they've finished using this puppet and they're reaching for the next.

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