The more things change, the more they stay the same:
Mayor Vaughn: [to reporter] I’m pleased and happy to repeat the news that we have, in fact, caught and killed a large predator that supposedly injured some bathers. But, as you see, it’s a beautiful day, the beaches are open and people are having a wonderful time. Amity, as you know, means “friendship”. – From the movie “Jaws“.
But we haven’t had, really, any impact. I mean, we haven’t had enough oil hit Mississippi’s beaches to fill up a milk jug. Now, we’re prepared and we’re prepared for the worst. But thus far, we haven’t had any kind of incursion, except the news coverage is killing our tourist business. – Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi.
More on Barbour’s links to big oil over at Think Progress.Read More
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, Matt Drudge has had “Scott the Snitch” on his propaganda site all day, an attempt to paint former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, who has a new book coming out that is not kind to his former employer, as a turncoat. It’s rather interesting for a couple of reasons.
The word “snitch” is a pejorative that means “informant”, and in it’s most popular usage is associated with criminals and mobsters who break with their masters and turn. So, in a sense, Drudge is implying that the White House is mob like. It’s an appellation that isn’t really used in any other context other than refering to informing on others where a crime has been committed to denigrate that person. The appropriate term here would be “whistle blower”. But that doesn’t serve Drudge nor his masters.
And, of course, the White House are following the party attack line, calling McClellan “disgruntled“, or “out of the loop” or insert ad hominem here. No doubt he’ll be “insane” by the end of the media cycle. Look for the Freepers and extremist wing nut blogs to fill that hole with bile.
Keep in mind, the only news here is that it’s a former loyalist saying that the Bush White House chose propaganda over policy. We’ve heard this accusation before. The propaganda over policy issue, and why is was implemented, was a topic on this blog nearly FOUR YEARS AGO, and the facts bare this out. It was an attempt to polarize the public with fear and solidify and maintain power in that manner.
Ultimately, history will tell the story of whether George W. Bush was simply over his head, or a willing puppet who stood by playing golf and spouting propaganda while Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld implemented disastrous policy. Personally, I think Dubya is an ideological tool of Cheney. Not smart enough to engage policy in any meaningful manner, he simply agrees with whatever Dick says and catapults the propaganda like a good doggy.
Not a bad job if you can get it. Alas, the real world is a bit more serious than this piss ant approach to to governing and policy. And, we will pay the price for the insipid, emotional playground politics of this White House.Read More
Remember those words above, spoken by George W. Bush, on May 1, 2003.
What does his paid lap dog PR person have to say about the “mission accomplished” debacle?
“President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said `mission accomplished’ for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday. “And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner. And I recognize that the media is going to play this up again tomorrow, as they do every single year.”
Ah, yes. The banner was not specific enough. Of course, the preznit still said: “in the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.” So, I guess it’s safe to assume that the preznit’s PR dupe is either an idiot or a liar or both.
Well, let’s look at the specific facts and see how accomplished this mission has been. (Courtesy of Iraq Campaign)
The Cost of War Since ‘Mission Accomplished’— May 1, 2003 — April 24, 2008
US TROOPS KILLED IN IRAQ ————————- 139 ————- 4,051
(as of 4/21/08)
US TROOPS WOUNDED IN IRAQ ——————–524 ————- 29,780
(as of 4/15/08)
IRAQI CIVILIANS KILLED IN THE WAR ———– N/A ———— 150,000
(World Health Organization)
RAQI CIVILIANS FORCED FROM THEIR HOMES —N/A ——- 4.7 mil
US TROOPS DEPLOYED IN IRAQ —————– 150,000 —–155,000
(Brookings Institute, Iraq Index)
FOREIGN TROOPS IN
“COALITION OF THE WILLING” —————— 23,000 —– 9,852
(Brookings Institute, Iraq Index)
COST OF IRAQ WAR TO THE AVERAGE
AMERICAN FAMILY ——————————– N/A ——– $16,500
(Congressional Joint Economic Committee Report)
AMERICANS WHO APPROVE OF BUSH’S
HANDLING OF THE IRAQ WAR —————-72% ———— 33%
Film director Milos Forman, who lived through the occupation of the Nazi’s and the Soviet Communists in Czechoslovakia said of propaganda that the obvious stuff never worked. It was the sub textual stuff that worked. This is the obvious stuff. Excerpts from Bush’s speech today with responses:
Because we acted, Saddam Hussein no longer fills fields with the remains of innocent men, women and children.
Saddam is believed to be responsible for the death of an estimated 200,000 Iraqi’s during his three decades long regime. (Not including pinning all the deaths from the Iran / Iraq war on him, since he received tacit support for this war from a number of countries, including the US.) The US led war in Iraq has been responsible for the death of nearly 90,000 Iraqi’s in a short five years, so far documented. Does genocide beget genocide?
Because we acted, Saddam’s torture chambers and rape rooms and children’s prisons have been closed for good.
Saddam’s torture chambers may be gone, but in spirit replaced by Abu Ghraib, and rendition in Syria and Egypt. Orphanages in Iraq proliferate, estimates by Iraqi authorities of millions of orphans abound, and barbaric treatment of children during the US occupation has been in the news.
Because we acted, Saddam’s regime is no longer invading its neighbors or attacking them with chemical weapons and ballistic missiles.
Which doesn’t preclude the USA threatening to invade or attack Iraq’s neighbors.
Because we acted, Saddam’s regime is no longer paying the families of suicide bombers in the Holy Land.
Meanwhile, it’s okay for the US to bribe jihadist groups not to fight, groups which had previously killed Iraqi civilians and US troops. And, it’s still under investigation whether some portions of the Iraqi insurgency and possibly AQI was actually funded by billions of US dollars gone missing.
Because we acted, Saddam’s regime is no longer shooting at American and British aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones and defying the will of the United Nations.
IED’s and suicide bombers both continue to kill both American soldiers and Iraqi civilians nearly every day.
Because we acted, the world is better and United States of America is safer.
The US border is unsecured, so who knows who is coming and going and for what reasons, the Iraqi border is unsecured, the dollar is falling, the economy is in trouble, banks are failing, oil is up and down, the Chinese invest a trillion dollars yearly in US Treasury bills while the US economy continues to accumulate debt while not producing enough to balance it out, a major US city is devastated and the country lacks the resources to fix the problem, nuclear proliferation is still rampant around the world, anti-American sentiment is at a high world wide, an innocent man can be killed by mistake on a plane and people say it is okay, but we are safer because a thug turned despot with delusions of grandeur, who we were told was close to building a nuke but was not, is now gone.
And, if you are a member of the club, you are making billions.
Remember when everyone was discussing whether the price of oil would rise above $65 a barrel? Yours truly surely does. Currently, it’s at around $96 a barrel and poised to top $100.
A few years ago, I posted on this issue at Jakeneck and was met with a certain amount of consternation and denial. Harking back to these older posts is in no way meant as an “I told you so” or anything like that. It’s just interesting to me that it was right in front of our eyes and so many just didn’t want to see it. The peak oil issue is a matter of historical record in my opinion, nothing more. This post really sums up the issue at the time, a mere two years ago:
From Jakeneck – July 2005
High price of oil due to “structural issue”
That’s shorthand for “it’s getting harder to pump it at the current price.”
Of course, the Iraq War doesn’t help matters at all.
Nor does the current state of the Saudi kingdom help.
And, the Iranian nuclear situation is cause for concern as well. Some good background information on the Iran political and economic scenario is here and here. (You’ll need a subscription to read the entire article.)
During the late spring of last year, a similar item was posted here on Jakeneck, and a long discussion ensued as to whether oil would actually break the $50 a barrel mark. I was claiming it would and go much beyond it, and others were convinced it would not. I remember spending a good amount of time explaining the issue and peak oil and the war, to little or no real progress. People want to believe what they want to believe, and the facts are not important.
So, here we are and oil is at $65 a barrel, and the murmuring around the oil sites is “how high will it go?”
It’s not rocket surgery… I’m simply not that smart. But, I do like puzzles.
Update: Price hits $67 a barrel and…
Boone Pickens, the Dallas hedge fund manager and former oil company executive, said oil will reach $75 a barrel in the next 12 months. Pickens, who correctly predicted in October that oil would reach $60 a barrel, spoke on the NBC Nightly News yesterday. He oversees more than $2.5 billion in energy commodity and stock investments.
Here’s the latest from Boone Pickens.Read More