RANGER AGAINST WAR: Vanity <

Friday, October 09, 2009

Vanity


Prada, 2004, Todd Eberle

Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair

And that you would never leave

--You're So Vain
, Carly Simon

They caught you in the park after dark

giving head to a statue, girl.
Oh, cruel!
--I've Overestimated My Charm (Again),
Black Kids

________________

[Mr. Eberle, my high school nemesis -- you've done well. My congratulations -- Lisa.]

If we anthropomorphized U.S. policy and actions, they would be arrogant, myopic, irrational, self-centered and overbearing.

If they were a person, they would be an intolerable, autistic, immature, preening and irresponsible bully.


This country punishes mature, responsible behavior, and rewards poor, greedy, juvenile, malicious and criminal behavior, across the socio-economic spectrum.

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18 Comments:

Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

victor davis hanson postulates that the biggest advantage a republic, or democracy has in international affairs is the ability to change its course, often suddenly.

one of our nation's biggest problems with this is that our history, as taught in public schools, is bunkum. school boards decided back near the turn of our last century that the teaching of american history should be designed to "instill the seeds of patriotism" rather than teach the course of our events.

we are taught that columbus "discoverd" america. how can you discover something where there are 20 million people already there? 800 nations were already existing.

we are taught of our brave pioneers who "settled the wild country," while, at the same time botanists and archeologists have been beginning to understand things like how the "forest primieval" they found in northeastern arizona, and the ohio valleys contained a much higher percentage of food bearing trees and plants than could ever occur naturally. they discovered concentrations of trees suited for construction material that were situated very close to population centers. concentrations that could only result from human intervention and management.

kentucky/tennessee was not a wilderness. it was a combination food orchard, lumber yard, and game ranch that was being managed in a very sophisticated way by several nations. the same thing goes with the arizona/new mexico white pine forest.

"lies my teacher taught me" chronicles many of these things.

i would much prefer that our history be taught from a position of truth.

i managed to learn the truth mainly by continuing my education. i had to unlearn a lot about my country in the process, and i found that i love it, warts and all.

in many ways we're like the athenians of the golden age. they talked long shit about their deep love of peace, while they waged war on a fairly constant basis (the athenians of pericles were in more frequent conflict than the spartans, at least until they blundered their way into that long ass war which destroyed both city/states)

a sister of mine is a psych nurse in a prison in california. one of her axioms of psych is this:

when behaviors and words don't match, believe the behaviors.

no matter how misguided our policy can be or become, we have the ability and the mechanism to change it abruptly and in a drastic fashion.

obama is facing many hobson's choices right now.

we are embroiled in pointless and endless wars in the middle east, without any strategies for ending those conflicts because we invaded before we really understood what the fuck was going there.

unfortunately, the only remedy for those situations is to bug the fuck out. the best way to avoid being sucked into those quagmires is to avoid the fucking swamps in the first place.

to imagine that a "surge" or "escalation" in afghanistan will fix the problems and make everything better ignores two thousand years of afghan history. about the only garauntee that is available is the one that adds our name to the truly endless listing of nations and military machines which have come to grief there.

and now, they are beating the drums and blowing the bugles over iran.

to my thinking, iran is the lone rational actor in this situation. if we were faced with a hostile, belligerant nation which had massive numbers of heavily armed troops on every single border we possesed we too would be arming ourselves to the teeth.

we have air bases to iran's north in the "stans." we have carrier groups to iran's south and west. we have marines and soldiers to their east and west.

iran would be irrational not to be arming themselves to the fucking gills.

i had to order a new set of pipes. my old ones are giving out.

too many funerals....

Friday, October 9, 2009 at 10:14:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

hmmph.... and your point is?

Friday, October 9, 2009 at 7:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

MB,

"they talked long shit about their deep love of peace, while they waged war on a fairly constant basis"

Gandhi said something to the effect, when your words, thoughts and deeds are in agreement, you are living correctly. I agree with you -- in any situation, things can change very quickly. But there must be the will.


GD,

Spoken like a true American :)

Friday, October 9, 2009 at 8:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"we are embroiled in pointless and endless wars in the middle east, without any strategies for ending those conflicts because we invaded before we really understood what the fuck was going there.

unfortunately, the only remedy for those situations is to bug the fuck out. the best way to avoid being sucked into those quagmires is to avoid the fucking swamps in the first place."

Minstrel Boy, I can't agree with your first paragraph above because It's is my contention, back up by fact, that we knew exactly what we were doing in the Middle East.

Iraq is a case in point. We actually supported Iraq in the Iraq/Iran war with hardware and intel. Also when Iraq used chemical weapons on Iran we vetoed the UN's condemnation of the first use of chemical weapons since the WWI. After both sides were war weary and hostilities ended. Saddam was pissed because Kuwait was angle drilling into Iraq's oil fields. When Saddam approached the Iraq's American Diplomat April Gallispi (sp) and he asked her what was the US position on Saddam taking military action. She was instructed to say we had no interest the matter. Of course we denied our real position and we American's were told she acted without authority. Bullshit. The lie factory began working overtime.

As for the second paragraph: I contend the endless wars in the middle east have a hidden logic to them. American's are oblivious because they get their news from the disinformation machine. As in the world of IT there is a saying,'junk in, junk out'. Americans are dying today because of sins of their fathers. There few that have the courage to speak up. When they do they are shouted down,and labeled un- this and un- that, or worse traitors to our county.I don't how many here fought and bled on foreign soil for the cry, 'Freedom'. I for one learned from my experience. Freedom can be just a word, but words are not enough to be truly free. John Lennon sung, "when you talk about destruction you can count me out....you better free your mind instead."


This is not meant as a criticism or your post but my own elaboration on questions you raised. Thanks

Blackhawk187

Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 3:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

BH,

A good challenge to MB, that we knew well what we were doing. I believe he would take the more pragmatic view, and say if we were all about it, we should have become better informed as to the actual expected results. I hope he speaks for himself.

More Lennon:


"Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV,

And you think you're so clever and classless and free,

But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see,

A working class hero is something to be"

Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 3:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa,
I confess to some confusion in your last post. It was not meant as a "challenge" to MB. I hope my last paragraph spelled that out.

I'm also a little foggy who is the 'me' in your post.

Clear on Lennon though....

BH187 (a simple fucking peasant)

Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 4:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

BH,

By "me", did you mean "MB" (minstrelboy's acronym)?

Also, perhaps a poor choice of phrase on my part. I did not mean challenge as in, duel -- only as in, a challenge to clarification. I know that MB is opposed to our fecklessness, and I will be interested to know if he agrees with your contention of clear U.S. intentionality.

Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 5:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'I will be interested to know if he agrees with your contention of clear U.S. intentionality.' Lisa

I'd be interested to know what anyone here thinks regarding fecklessness and/or intentionality of our foreign policy/wars in the middle east

BH187

Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 5:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Awesome:::clapping:::standing o::::

Couldn't agree more Lisa, great post.

Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 10:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

MB: Aside from VDH's unassailable position as the modern war pundit who has learned nothing of war since the Syracuse Expedition (the lessons of which still elude him), I would argue that the actual case is entirely opposite.

Autocracies and oligarchies can reverse their policies quickly. The only people who matter are the rulers, and if their interests change their policies can change in as little time as it takes to draft the memo.

Democracies, rather, require infinite time and effort to change. Look at our own history and the "Negro Problem". Many of the Founders knew that the idea of keeping a race of people slaves in a nation supposedly governed by "We, The People" was going to be a problem. But from there it took almost 80 years to get to the point where we actually ended de jure slavery. And from THERE...well, we're still not dealing with the "race problem", many of us, given the depth of lunacy coming from many on the Right.

So the idea of using aerial bombing and artillery on the hairy unwashed of central Asia is different from attacking Comanche and Kiowa villages in midwinter...how?

We, the White People - especially we the wealthy, well-connected white people who have run the nation since its founding - have evinced little concern for the dusky heathen we have killed, burned out, beaten, enslaved and turned out in the snow to die since before we even were a nation - remember that one of our major grievances against the Brits is that they didn't want the colonists going over the Appalachians and getting in more wars with the aborigines and costing the Crown more money!

No, the little wars in central Asia aren't costing those who rule much of anything. And so...

"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains
Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
And go to your God like a soldier..."

Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 11:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CTuttle said...

Aloha, Lisa and Ranger! I'm still alive and kicking... Great post as always... We certainly need to be getting the f*ck outta Aghanistan ASAP... I find it amusing that we're now just going to bribe the Taliban outright into putting down their arms... Ironically, it'll probably be a lot cheaper and more effective than 40 or 60 thousand more troops...

CTuttle

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 3:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

FDChief,
I'm with you on the idea of democracy in America being slow and glacial. That's how it was set up that way and that's why we are manipulated by crisis.
I'm not on the right but i think we have a real race problem in this country, but that's not PC to say.For example i posit the school, deaths in just 1 US city-Chicago. One makes it to Oslo and many others are left in a free fire zone. Oh well, on to KABUL.
JIM

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 11:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

MB,
I believe the present C in C could make a bold adjustment and order the troops to exit stage left just as readily as the last Idiot in Chief put them in theater BUT it won't happen because politics and not clarity are the goals of our erstwhile leaders.
The biggest weakness of American democracy is that of allowing a President to commit troops to combat w/o a declaration of war. But this would be extremely embarrassing since we claim to be peace loving. I believe our actions and not our words.
jim

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 11:07:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

go ahead, challenge away. i don't mind. i relish it.

interestingly enough, one of the things i first thought about when w. got all hell bent for going into iraq was the syracuse expedition...i guess i spent way too much time in vdh's classrom.

as far as "knowing" what we were doing there, if that had been the case, why weren't any wmd's found. if we knew what we were doing, the intel would have been solid.

they were looking for a cakewalk. breeze in, kick ass, loot the fucking place mainly for its oil, threaten iraq in the bargain.

remember rummy, that fucking sage cocksucker, talking about how it would be "finished in 90 days, and iraq will pay for it.." remember that?

those aren't the predictions of people who know what they are doing...

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 11:56:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

on the above, should have been

"threaten iran in the bargain"

my bad, typing too fast.

going back to iran, i've stated before many times...

given a choice between starting another war with iran and having a nuclear armed iran

to fdchief, if autocrats are capable of changing course more quickly than democracies, why don't they?

i seriously can't think of an absolute ruler who simply changed his mind and his policy rapidly and with consequence.

were that the case, kaiser wilhelm and george 5th might have been able to avoid ww1...after all, they wuz cuzzins and stuff.

were autocracies more response and changing why didn't nicholas romanov wake up one fine morning and say "i've really been a bastard to my peasants, i was visited by three ghosts in my dream last night and i'm a changed dude..."

when power is heavily concentrated in the elites or worse, one person, disasterous courses tend to be stayed. after all, "uneasy lies the head which wears the crown" and changing one's mind and course could easily be perceived as weakness.

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 12:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

MB
It's safe to say that the invasion and occupation of Iraq defied all logic and legality.
same same AFGH. To accept Afgh as legitimate requires a lot of faith in faulty intel. More so i believe than did the Iraq invasion.
Both were just a little too cute for my fancy.
jim

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 12:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Aloha to CTuttle!

I am always glad to hear from you, and always hold Hawaii in my mind as an excellent mental and spiritual balm, should the need arise. . .

Be well,

Lisa

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 12:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Labrys said...

"Lies My Teacher Taught Me"! Yaya...I thought I was the only one who bought a copy! I used it while home teaching my kids history...love it, Minstrel!

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 2:50:00 PM GMT-5  

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