Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Haze of Rhetoric

We are more often frightened than hurt;
and we suffer more from imagination

than from reality

--Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Fine sounding phrases,

hiding hollow arguments

--Hendrik Van Loon

Gotta get down to it.

Soldiers are cutting us down.

Should have been done long ago
, C,S,N & Y

All the Japanese with their yen

The party boys call the Kremlin

And the Chinese know (oh whey oh)

They walk the line like Egyptian

--Walk Like an Egyptian, the Bangles

Ranger Question of the Day (RQOD):

Would U.S. police allow demonstrations of the magnitude

of those in Egypt on Pennsylvania Avenue?


The U.S. that is trying to steer Egypt's government on moral and democratic behavior vis-a-vis their protesters and/or angry mobs is suffering a serious amnesia in regards to democratic behavior.

This amnesia is a result of the mass hysteria enveloping the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) which has allowed for the degradation of our founding principles. The U.S. is the apostle of international armed overreaction, yet we shamefacedly promote prudence to other nations. Our words do not accord with our actions.
Likewise, no form of government should be expected to tolerate violent riots; democracy does not issue from this source.

Protesters do have a right of assembly
if they are peaceful, yet in America we have created a new society in which protesters are limited to zones strictly cordoned off by the police. Protest around our leaders is not tolerated and protesters are routinely arrested and removed from public events -- a protest can be large but if avoided by the press, may as well have never happened.

Diligent reader and friend tw shared the non-coverage of an anti-war protest in D.C. last December, noted only, it seems, by a humble blogger:

"About 135 people were arrested yesterday in an anti-war protest outside the White House. This came as President Obama was revealing a new report that touted progress in the war in Afghanistan. ... (t)his act of civil disobediance [sic] and arrests apparently are [sic] not news.

"Those arrested included Pulitzer prize-winning war correspondent, Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon papers, retired 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern, FBI whistleblower Colleen Rowley . . .(135 arrests in DC and that's not news)."

But while protest in America has died an ignominious death, the U.S. has the gall to encourage Egyptian leaders to accept protest of their government, all the while crouching like the Cheshire Cat, knowing the tanks and armaments wielded by the Egyptian authorities were fronted by them. Egyptian repression is facilitated by U.S. policy

Our advice is disingenuous.
The U.S. has created phony villes of Democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan by the barrel of a gun and the bribe of cash and materiel, yet we would moralize to the Egyptians. The Egyptians, who have tortured prisoners for us in our extra-legal renditions.

We will use their non-democratic features when it behooves us, then come out from behind the skirt and admonish them to be kind and forbearing when their power structure is threatened.

U.S. tax dollars have funded and facilitated dictatorial brutality in the region, and we become poseurs when we pretend it is otherwise.

[Cross-posted @ RangerAgainstWar]


  1. "U.S. tax dollars have funded and facilitated dictatorial brutality in the region, and we become poseurs when we pretend it is otherwise."

    Hard to disagree with that . . .

  2. seydlitz,
    I really don't care how the cards are dealt , or played as long as we benefit somehow. That just doesn't happen, and that's my bitch.
    But philosophically i must wonder how a beacon on the hill has become what it is today. Also i can't exactly grasp how everything done by our gov't just seems to be out of step with the classic values of democracy.It all feels so out of control, and is hard to even ask the right questions. I can swing either way, but swinging wildly like a wind sock just doesn't feel right to me. I think i'll consider the title-WINDSOCK-as a future essay.
    Anyway, thanks for commenting.

  3. We're leaderless.

    This feels so much like the calm before a storm. I don't think this summer will be quiet in the US.