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Saturday, February 25, 2006

The System Has Failed

So it appears that either the Dubai Ports World takeover rollout got ahead of the usual bullshit marketing campaign, or these dumbfucks seriously thought that, after almost five fucking years of constant hysteria mongering and solemn invocations of "security concerns", nobody would notice. Then, when caught on the issue, they couldn't even get their story straight as to whether C-Plus Augustus had even been brought up to speed on this shit in the first place.

I mean, we all knew these people were fucking incompetent already, but jeebus, they seem extra intent on proving it as of late.

I am not terribly concerned in particular that DPW got the contract bid. The next highest bidder was a company based in Singapore, so the more generalized concern is that outsourcing this is de rigueur. Either we are serious about port security, or we are not. The fact that we try to rationalize this by pointing at the few dollars we save, while we throw our grandchildren's money at everything else, bespeaks a profound lack of seriousness.

This just in, Harvard. Spend the extra money. Tighten up the homegrown ranks. Have an American company do American port security, and by god truly run herd over it. Of course, were that to happen, it would be just another no-bid contract for Halliburton or KBR (which is now an offshoot rather than a division of the former).

Globalization handjobs aside, Dubai seems to be a singularly bad choice for this sensitive mission. This is a city-state which is rather notorious as a nexus for drugs and arms smuggling, whose royal family was cozy with the Taliban from the early days, and even apparently enjoyed an informal, undeclared cease-fire when they last visited the Afghanistan/Pakistan area. How sporting of us.

As if that weren't enough, Dubai is the current home of Michael Jackson. People, won't you connect the dots?

In the meantime, it seems that even the valiant attempts by the mainstream media to cheerlead the folly have at long last collapsed ignominiously, as the Middle East meltdown continues unabated, and the Iraqi Defense Forces may be even more unprepared than previously thought. When your number of stand-alone battalions drops precipitously from one to none, that may be a clue.

Another clue is that even the lead rats are starting to desert the rapidly tanking USS Chimpco. Well, too fuckin' bad, dears. You wanted this little geopolitical experiment, you got it in spades. That weird feeling on your collective backsides is this fucking debacle being tied to your tail. Still, this is telling, this en masse desertion. After all, these people are whores, and they have nowhere to go from here. It's not as if a grateful "left" (as if such an entity actually existed) would take Buckley and O'Falafel in and reward them for their apostasy.

Nope. These people were warned and warned again, and all they could do was sneer and scoff. And now the quail have come home to roost. Yes, there are many who reluctantly went along with the invasion at the last minute, myself included, but I think most of us walked back from that around the time Colin Powell got as honest with us as he's ever going to get -- that is, when he jumped ship 1½ years ago. And that was at the latest; most people who were paying attention, rather than parroting recooked boilerplate, realized something was seriously amiss a couple months after the mission was supposed to have been accomplished.

Whatever the case, there is no intellectually honest case to be made for the administration's handling of Iraq, at any stage thus far, or in the foreseeable future. This can't be emphasized enough. This is not a case of hindsight merely being 20/20, this is a case of facts that were sat on when they were relevant and immediately actionable, finally coming to light long after it's far too late. This is a case of the reckless mal-fee-ance and shortsighted wishful thinking finally becoming not only apparent, but incredibly obvious.

This is a case of people who have made careers out of pretending to be more competent and more in tune with military and security matters, lampooning and condemning the opposition party, while proving incontrovertibly to be shamefully incompetent and inadequate in those areas.

And what are we worried about? Fucking stunt legislation from useless states where no one with any sense lives.

I dunno, folks. This is so much bigger than the stupid port security scandal; at best, that may simply end up being the proverbial back-breaking straw. But all these things -- including the stunt law in South Dakota -- beg for organized and forceful response. This simply will not stand anymore. This is unacceptable, a domestic policy that veers between malign neglect and god-bothering nonsense, and a foreign policy that is nominally headed by someone who is clearly not in the loop, and utterly ignorant of the ramifications.

It will not be nearly enough to simply eke out a victory in the midterms by triangulating the conservatards' message, and learning to speak in tongues, or whatever the vogue phrase is for catering to megachurch morons. Put simply, this has to go down as an asskicking; the pro-life loons with their stunt legislation must be beaten back to their caves, and the sheer incompetence and shameless cronyism of Chimpco has to be brought to the forefront.

The "conventional wisdom" has it that Democrats are afraid that their votes for the war will haunt them if they try anything funny. Not so. They didn't sign on for this bullshit. If Chuck Hagel can say so, then Chuck Schumer can say so. It really is that simple, and it really is that crucial. This country is at a very dangerous point, where a deflated Republican Party and a gutless Democratic Party could inadvertently make room for a real populist demagogue. People are tired, burnt out from the stress of constant war and fear and a moribund economy owned more and more by China. Enabled by a supine media, it is not unthinkable that a Dobson-type loon could bankroll a serious, politically destructive run at some higher political offices.

So let's hope that the Dems look at how the stars have aligned for them as of late, and just fucking go for it. Take your game to them; these people do not fight well on their heels. And before long, only the wingiest of the wingnuts will be left to defend the battlements anyway. If O'Falafel's folding, a lot more are going to follow suit.

If not now, when, and if not you, then who?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Has O'Reilly folded already? Do you have a link to that? I've heard about Count Fuku abandoning ship, but I didn't know Bill O. is about to change paymasters.

Great post, really. Three more years to go, and this administration has run out of steam on all fronts. If only the stupid Dems know how to capitalize on this. But I'm not going to go there; it just makes me too mad.

--M.

Heywood J. said...

Thanks, Marius. I don't know that O'Reilly will be leaving Fox or anything like that; in fact, I highly doubt such a scenario. After his sexual-harassment suit got settled last year, I do recall him making a little noise about possibly retiring, but I don't know how serious that was. He's a self-pitying narcissist, the worst sort of egomaniac, of a piece with the likes of Donald Trump.

But he has joined the chorus of the "US policy in Iraq has failed", at least objectively. Here is the Media Matters link to that. In and of itself, it is not exactly a tectonic shift, because even his fans know that Falafel is little more than a Limbaugh/Coulter style of sideshow carny.

But when taken in the context of serious guys like Buckley and Fukuyama suddenly seeing the light and being willing to talk about it, it's starting to add up. Some of them will never admit it openly, of course; the level of vitriol some of these morons had for Brent Scowcroft (another indisputably serious person) said much more about his detractors than about Scowcroft himself.

I think Atrios had it right a couple weeks ago (I also wrote about it months ago, but he put it much more concisely), that this fixation on Bush is just a standard cult figurehead/Daddy thing, that will be readily transferred to the next wampeter when the time comes. Glenn Greenwald had a really excellent breakdown of the syndrome afflicting these people.

It is a pathological fixation, to be sure, one that in a more honest media landscape would get much more coverage.

Craig Heath said...

Your rather ominous ending note about a "Dobson-type loon" running on populist nationalism is not far-fetched, and it should scare "The Left" (if there really IS such an animal) into doing some of that ass-kicking you properly trumpet.

We are another 9-11 style attack away from the "Man on Horseback". That might be Dubya (anyone for suspending elections until the "emergency" is over?), or someone worse (yes, it is possible).

We gotta get our government back now. There does come a time when it's too damn late, and nothing can be done to put things right. Maybe the Dem's don't read history either. A simple freshman-level world history overview course should be sufficient to point out that societies can turn around at certain points in the arc of their lifetime, but once certain "facts on the ground" are in play, you might as well just go live on the moon as try to stop the oncoming train.

And yes, "scare-tactic" legislation is just a "head-fake". Stop chasing the shiny objects, people! Don't worry about your beards when your heads are being chopped off!