The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Scary Iran, just in time for Halloween

Phantom Menace Watch

So Bush and Cheney are doing a lot of saber-rattling right now, and it is clear that they want to start a war with Iran. The arguments are all depressingly familiar to people who paid attention during the run up to war with Iraq. In both cases, we have a lie repeated so many times that it becomes “truthy”: for Iraq, that Saddam had beyond-conventional weapons, for Iran that they are busy killing American servicemen in Iraq. They have produced zero evidence for this yet it is repeated over and over by their minions in the press. (Even if it were true, who could blame Iran? After all, we overthrew their democratically elected leader Mossadegh in 1953 and installed a brutal dictator, and then, throughout Reagan’s term, supplied Saddam with weapons to kill them with during the Iran-Iraq war.) And in both cases, we have an existential threat pounded into us: either Iraq or Iran is going to blow us up!

Now this news:

George W. Bush on Tuesday said a missile defence system was urgently needed to protect the US and Europe from Iran, warning that Tehran could have the capability to strike the US and Europe with ballistic missiles within eight years.

Never mind the mind-blowing wastefulness, stupidity, and complete ineffectiveness of “missile defence systems”. I have news for Bush: there are thousands of nuclear weapons that pose much greater dangers for the US that exist TODAY, which we are doing nothing constructive about. Nukes are in the hands of Pakistan, China, Russia, India, North Korea, and Israel. All of which I’m much more concerned with than Iranian nukes in the future. Absolutely nothing is being done about Russia’s nuclear materials and warheads as far as I can tell, and the danger of them being sold off in Russia’s new wild west economy is much greater than any problem from Iran, you idiot. Russia has 16,000 total nuclear warheads, nearly 6,000 of which are still active and probably pointed at us. Nukes in Iranian hands are no more, and quite possibly much less, threatening to us than those in Pakistan. And certainly nukes “within eight years” are not something to get your panties in a twist over.

Here’s the kicker: An invasion of Iran will make our relations with Russia and China much worse, as Russia and China both depend on Iranian oil and have interests there. So, an attack on Iran is, on the face of it, simply suicidal for the US. China will destroy our economy by ceasing to buy our debt, if it comes to it, and that will be the end of the US, both economically and as a world power. Keep up the saber-rattling, you jackasses.

Every Sperm is Sacred Watch

Like every good Bush appointee, Susan Orr does not believe in what she has been put in charge of. In this case, family planning programs in the Department of Health and Human Services.

In a 2000 Weekly Standard article, Orr railed against requiring health insurance plans to cover contraceptives. “It’s not about choice,” said Orr. “It’s not about health care. It’s about making everyone collaborators with the culture of death.”

That’s the spirit! The war against sex for pleasure continues unabated. More thrilling quotes at the link.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat Watch

By now, we know the familiar pattern: The Bush/Cheney complex is caught doing something completely illegal, from wiretapping without warrants to torturing prisoners to holding citizens without access to a lawyer. They deny it at first, then admit it and claim it is only for our own good. The Democrats express “concern”. They begin to issue subpoenas which are ignored to investigate. Russ Feingold proposes legislation that would reiterate that their current activity is really, really illegal. A huge legislative fight develops, with Republicans warning of dire, deadly consequences unless the administration can break the law with impunity. Some compromise bill is reached and sent to the President, who signs it with his fingers crossed and files a signing statement saying he intends to ignore it. The lawbreaking continues while new scandals come to light, and nothing ever changes . . .

Shock Redux Watch

In Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine, she picks out one pattern in recent history that has been repeated many times, and seems sure to happen in this country as well. In Poland, in South Africa, in Argentina, in Bolivia . . . in every country where a corrupt, totalitarian government is replaced by a people-powered movement that promises and hopes to actually use the power of government to help its citizens, the new government finds that it cannot. The stories are incredibly depressing. In each case, the corrupt government runs up large debts, often with a large proportion of the amount it’s spending concurrently ending up in Swiss bank accounts. Then, the people rise up and take back their countries. But the IMF and the World Bank won’t let them out of the debts incurred by their predecessors, and won’t give them any aid until they accept a raft of conditions that amount to corporatism run wild: a free market economy with no safety nets for workers, no investment in the people of the country. If the newly formed governments try to spend any money to help their people, by providing them healthcare or welfare or social security or wage guarantees or protective tariffs for local businesses, the markets devalue their currency and send their economies into freefall. In each of these countries, the reformers are forced to give in and open their countries up to pillage by multinational corporations, which buy up their resources, exploit their workers, and generally make life miserable.

Now we have our own totalitarian government which is running up huge debt. If we, the people, ever manage to take control of our government again, will we be able to preserve our protections for workers, or our social security? Not likely.

Third Rail Watch

John Edwards has just touched one of American politics' unmentionable third rails. Like Howard Dean before him, who promised to do something about the corrosive effects of media consolidation, Edwards just signaled that his campaign cannot possibly succeed. He announced that he would fight against wasteful, runaway spending at the Pentagon. And in the middle of the War on Terra, too. Doesn't he know that we have to make the World Safe For Freedom by ridding it of IslamoCommuFascism?

Conservative Idiots Watch

This week’s bumper crop.


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