And The Wars Go On

Jack Murtha, the longtime Democratic representative from Pennsylvania, died today, after having lived long enough to see the wars he wanted to end continued indefinitely, but satisfied in knowing history would prove him right.  I guess these days if you want to try to stop a war in this country, you should get started when you’re young.

That’s what’s so remarkable about the situation we’re in right now; pretty much all of our problems that we face as a country stem from the simple fact that we spend HALF of our money each year trying to (often successfully) kill people we don’t know, in case they might try to kill us, and getting a lot of our own people killed in the process.  Is that smart?  Is this a country, or a mink farm?  As usual, in both wars, arms we sold to our last best friend got turned against us, so we showed them what’s what by buying a whole lot more.  Children conduct snowball fights with a more sophisticated strategy, and snow is, unlike the weapons we employ, free, and nobody dies.

Murtha, unlike his many Republican critics that suddenly emerged when he “prematurely” called out the Iraq War as a fraud and a disaster with no conceivable goal in sight in 2005, was an actual combat veteran in Vietnam, and although defense contractor dough had long since gummed up his spending priorities, he still could spot a deadly, pointless meat-grinder when he saw one, and then by defending himself against their cowardly attacks repeatedly revealed the neocons as the chickenhawk pussies they were and are.  And he did.  Sadly, the Democrats, who owe their 2006 and 2008 victories in part to outspoken antiwar Democrats like Murtha, clearly didn’t listen to him, or to the rest of the people who are quite aware that war costs a whole lot of money that might be better spent elsewhere, no matter what nonsense you read in the Washington Post or hear from David Gregory.

As a country, we’ve simply been sold a pig in a poke so obvious that we have to either admit our error now or literally go down the tubes trying to apply lipstick.  Sarah Palin has some experience in that area, and look… here she is.  She says Iran ought to be next, and didn’t even have to write that one on her hand, which I find rather disturbing.  Evidently, the current wars haven’t bankrupted us quite enough for the evergreen Republican Utopia to look good by comparison, so Sarah has spit out the teabaggers and reached for the Kristol Pistol and the Cheney Dick.  For Sarah, this is pretty much a lateral move, but for the teabaggers, not to mention normal Americans, it sucks.  (I hereby promise not to carry that metaphor any further…  CHNN has had a run on barf bags lately…)

Wars are now bipartisan again, just as they were when Murtha opened his jowly mouth, and worse, the right has decided that even two couldn’t possibly be enough, and no Democrat has yet called them insane.  If you ask me,  Murtha picked a good time to die.


  1. timothy3 says:

    She says Iran ought to be next, and didn’t even have to write that one on her hand, which I find rather disturbing.
    I’m always struck (foolish me) by the psychotic language used by people like Palin (one of the Christ-like standard bearers for the Theology of Annihilation)

    WALLACE: How hard do you think President Obama would be to defeat in 2012?

    PALIN: It depends on a few things, say he played — I got this from Buchanan — say he played the war card. Say he decided to declare war on Iran or decide to really come out and do whatever he could to support Israel–which I would like him to do. That changes the dynamics of what we can assume will happen between now and three years. Because I think if the election were today, Obama would not be elected.

    WALLACE: You’re not suggesting that Obama would cynically play the war card?

    PALIN: I’m not suggesting that, I’m saying if he did, things would dramatically change if he decided to toughen up and do all that he can to secure our nation and secure our allies. I think people would shift their thinking a bit.

    Card playing=death dealing. And they use this language with a casualness typically reserved for placing a fast-food order.

    • cocktailhag says:

      The manipulative quality of Wallace’s question is exquisite. If Bush had attacked Iran, it would haves been a bold and selfless move to protect the country and hurry along Jesus’ return, and FOX would have praised him to the skies. If Obama did it, it would be “cynically playing the war card,” and FOX would have turned into a chorus of Cindy Sheehans. They don’t even bother to hide their hypocrisy any more, now that they’ve grabbed the army of the dumb and run with them.

  2. dirigo says:

    To Tom, our resident philosopher king and purveyor of the false choice:

  3. nailheadtom says:

    “The Guardian”, being “The Watchtower” of the pseudo-intellectual left, is mandatory reading for them. And the linked article fits in well with the never- ending lament of CH that the Democrat party uses the left to gain power and then deserts them to play house with the plutocrats. While leading figures of what passes for the left in a corporatist economic and political structure make noises about sending GWB and his underlings to prison for crimes against humanity and looting the treasury, confiscating the wealth of financial mandarins and imprisoning them, and incarcerating executives for ignoring the needs of the proles, they spend their quality time emulating those very villains. Nancy Pelosi orders up a new private jet from the air force so she can zip back to the city on the weekend. BHO stages parties with menus and drink selections the hoi polloi have never heard of. Thus the two party system consists of really only one party with two different PR departments and the TRUE left wanders about in the wilderness, their ideas, their many great ideas, ignored. As Ludwig von Mises says, socialism is the politics of resentment, and so it seems.

    • dirigo says:

      I have said before, bozo, I’m not a party animal; so go lecture someone else about all of that minutiae about perks and the rest which keeps you up at night.

      I just don’t buy the crap about any overdue social reform proposal in this country, or, reinvestment in the people of this country – especially in their health and readiness to work – as socialism; and don’t believe in the red herring you constantly throw up about socialism.

      Just don’t buy it. The point about the piece I linked is: the world has moved on. Except for those happy few inhabiting reactionary precincts in this country.

      As for those in power recently, before the current regime, I want to know when, and under what legal circumstances, there will be a reckoning concerning the official decision to use torture against enemies of this country over the last ten years.

      Please defend torture – if you can.

      • nailheadtom says:

        According to at least one dictionary: torture n. 1.act of inflicting excruciating pain, esp. from sheer cruelty or in hatred, revenge, or the like. . . . v.t.. . . 7. to afflict with severe pain of body or mind. . . .

        Presumably you are referring to efforts used by representatives of the US government to extract information from detainees connected with actions relating to Afghanistan or Iraq. Or, are there other examples? For instance, is the use of the “Taser” device a form of torture? Does a policeman have the legal and moral authority to subject a human to thousands of volts of electricity? Or handcuffs, tightened to the point where circulation is cut off, would that be a form of torture as well? Do common police interrogation techniques contain elements of torture? Is solitary confinement torture? Is placing a convict in an environment where he can be intimidated, assaulted and raped torture? Why don’t you tell me all about torture?

        • dirigo says:

          Take it from the top.

          I’m talking about the U.S. order, after 9-11, to torture on the battlefield, and with that the apparent abandonment by our government of longstanding policies against the practice, based on Geneva and the Lieber Code of the United States.

          I’m not concerned at this moment with other abuses you cite and want to play games with.

          Please: defend torture, specifically waterboarding, as practiced recently by the military and the intelligence services.

          I await your moral reasoning.

      • nailheadtom says:

        Incidentally, the link you displayed on your post was in reference to parties. If you’re not in to parties, why did you paste it? You socialists sure have a hard time keeping a train of thought on the tracks.

        • dirigo says:

          Do you think you are capable of answering any direct question put to you?

          My last one had to do with torture.

          It was preceded by my stipulation (citing the article) that I regard socialism as pretty much dead, and that I am in essence an unaffiliated voter who thinks a viable proposal to reform the health system in this country will be in the pragmatic mainstream of our tradition, and that a public solution to health care is necessary because the current system is outdated and unsustainable.

          Your raving about socialists is meaningless, except to other ravers of a similar bent.

          Your effort to rename or relabel what I say cuts no ice and is dishonest.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Ah, von Mises. His snooty fantasies haven’t worked out so well in the real world, have they? Or have you come up with a place yet? Didn’t think so.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Both of your accusations about the “left,” regarding the plane and the menus, are easily debunked lies, only believed by mouth-breathing cretins like yourself. Remember, it was BUSH who looted the treasury, along with his financial mandarins. Could you include at least one fact per rant, just to make yourself look smarter?

      • nailheadtom says:

        Yeah, Pinnocchia Pelosi flies home on Jet Blue when she wants to check the grapes in the vineyard. And BHO and guests eat hamburgers and fries at their soirees. There evidently are a few rich people that are OK with you simps, as long as they spout the socialist fairy tales.

        • dirigo says:

          And the NYSE bounced back 150 points to over 10,000 today on hopes the socialist EU leaders will come together with kumbaya cash to stabilize one of the biggest socialist/commie pinko countries in Europe: Greece.

          Seems the Greeks cooked their public books out of all shape, such that the country is on the brink of collapse, not unlike the United States at the end of 2008 as Bush was leaving office.

          Ooops! Republican leadership in the U.S. is all-knowing and never at fault. Never. The hobbled economy during 2009 was entirely the fault of the new president, the San Fran liberal leader of the House, and Hapless Harry. Right, Tom?

          See, I’m on your side now. Does that make your chest pump with pride? You’re a champeen debater.

  4. skeptic says:

    And, apparently, Murtha’s death was due to a medical error (video), resulting in an infection.

    So… as Republicans still hate to admit, even those with the very best insurance still die from medical errors. Yet, a very small percentage of those cases ever see a court, because most people choose not to sue. [Tort reform would be a mere drop in the bucket, no matter what the GOP says!]

    The reason so few choose to sue? I saw presentation a few years ago, in which a very smart man with lots of alphabets after his name explained the arrogance quotient to us all. He had done some research. People who like their doctors and believe they did their best for their patients–humanely–are far less likely to be sued for medical errors than those who treat their patients like numbers, i.e., as less than human.

    My father died of medical errors, too, but my stepmother did not pursue it. She could have, but chose not to.

    • cocktailhag says:

      So funny you should bring this up. When my grandmother, Etta, died in 1980, it was due to gross medical errors as well, but when we found out, with some difficulty, what happened we figured that none of us could pretend to be sad about in court for months and months. Hell, by the time the hospital’s fancy lawyers called a few (hundred) witnesses, a jury might decide that we owed the hospital money.

  5. mikeinportc says:

    Murtha was no prize. He was as much into war and (legalized)corruption as any of them. His opposition to the Great Iraq Adventure (that he helped promote),is probably a case of the stopped clock being right once.

    Re the medical errors, remember what Bushco’s first (public) policy proposal was? (That K-Lo conveniently forgot in her Obama 1 yr review) Same thing that was the GOP’s first legislative response to 9/11. They tried to idemnify HMOs against any, and all lawsuits, no exceptions . [HMO07 - license to screw - everybody ;) ]

    tommy, in answer to your questions, yeah, that is torture. (However much you seem to enjoy it.)

    btw, what do you have against grapes , tom?

  6. Marcos Reid says:

    How did Algeria loose so quickly. That was so fast. I just believed that they had a great opportunity to do well in this years world cup. Maybe next time. Maybe its time to jump on the Argentina bandwagon. Looks like Demichelis has already scored. Go Argentina. To cheer me up from that devastating loss by Algeria, I have been listening to some funny jokes.. This one made me feel a little better: