Sunday, June 29, 2014

Iraq- "There should be accountability."

Two great clips that call out the news media and the neocons on their total fail when it comes to discussing the Iraq situation these days. The first is from Katrina Vanden Huevel, editor of The Nation and writer for the New York Times, who tears up Bill (Wrong About Everything in the Middle East) Kristol on George Stephanopolous' roundtable, and slyly calls out the media as well, saying "there should be accountability" for all of those ivory-tower nimrods who were so wrong about Iraq in the 2000s.

I despise Bill Kristol because I think he's an absurd legacy case who always wants to have the U.S. fight wars, but never wants to pay for them, and doesn't care about the results that follow. But I also have an extra level of disgust for alleged "news" organizations who keep giving him and other neocons a seat at the roundtable and airtime to spin their ridiculous policies WHEN THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO CREDIBILITY ON THE ISSUE.

America's finest newscaster put it perfectly on Thursday, hammering John McCain as the senile fool that shouldn't be allowed in one more Sunday morning green room. Jon Stewart also asked why these right-wingers seem to believe every taxpayer dollar should be funneled to the military and foreign countries for adventures that lead to major human and fiscal costs with no positive outcome, but call investing in services for AMERICANS "wasteful spending."

I love the fact that Sarah freaking Palin is in the background in that "Hell No" clip with McCain. That pick alone should have banished McCain from Sunday shows for good.

This priorization of military over domestic needs and "culture of defendancy" (thanks, Jon) is not a new concept. A very wise man noted the same trend nearly 50 years ago.
While the anti-poverty program is cautiously initiated, zealously supervised and evaluated for immediate results, billions are liberally expended for this ill-considered war. The recently revealed mis-estimate of the war budget amounts to ten billions of dollars for a single year. This error alone is more than five times the amount committed to anti-poverty programs. The security we profess to seek in foreign adventures we will lose in our decaying cities. The bombs in Viet Nam explode at home: they destroy the hope s and possibilities for a decent America. If we reversed investments and gave the armed forces the antipoverty budget, the generals could be forgiven if they walked off the battlefield in disgust.

Poverty, urban problems and social progress generally are ignored when the guns of war become a national obsession. When it is not our security that is at stake, but questionable and vague commitments to reactionary regimes, values disintegrate into foolish and adolescent slogans.

It is estimated that we spend $322,000 for each enemy we kill, while we spend in the so-called war on poverty in America only about $53.00 for each person classified as "poor. And much of that 53 dollars goes for salaries of people who are not poor. We have escalated the war in Viet Nam and de-escalated the skirmish against poverty. It challenges the imagination to contemplate what lives we could transform if we were to cease killing. .
- Martin Luther King, Feb. 25, 1967

The macho militarization fetish that righties display with alarming frequency bears to mind the warning from a Republican from a very different time:
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address, January 17, 1961.

And our media is failing in keeping citizens knowledgeable when it allows fools like Bill Kristol and John McCain more access to the airwaves than people who got it right when it came to Iraq. The question is whether that failure is intentional.

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