Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vintage Patriot For A Winter Day In Prague

I've been thinking about "Bob in Prague" a lot lately. I think of all my online friends now and then, but especially when somebody close to one of them passes away.

I was recalling how and where and when we "met": at the bradblog, around the time of the 2004 "election". Bob was watching it all -- aghast -- from Eastern Europe, and I was watching it all -- aghast -- from my undisclosed location. And we had the same sorts of reactions to virtually all of it, and we soon became friends, in an online way. In fact, Bob is one of the very few bradblog readers who has continued to read me, even after my services were no longer ... um ... anyway ...

In late 2004, as you may recall, there were huge crowds in the streets of Ukraine, and the American media were making a big deal about how the exit polls didn't match the announced results of the Ukranian election. But they wouldn't say a word about how the exit polls here in the US hadn't matched our announced results. The only nationally known reporter who even mentioned allegations of election fraud was Keith Olbermann, and it seemed all he wanted to do was smear the "conspiracy theorists".

In the only non-war news pertaining to Iraq, the oil-for-food scandal was breaking, and American oilmen were deeply complicit. So they were blaming Kofi Annan and the UN.

On December 27, 2004, "Freebird" posted a comment at bradblog, saying, among other things, "And you right-wingers are after Kofi Annan for oil scandals...shame...shame!" That got me going: I hammered on my keyboard for quite a while and then posted a long comment, excerpts from which you will find below.

It was my first stab at putting 2 and 2 and 2 and 2 together, and putting my thoughts into writing -- or to be more accurate, it was my first stab at doing this with geopolitics. I'd done it with math, but that was different, because everything was either clearly right or clearly wrong, and I could go back and verify every step. But in this case, I had no way to check my work, so to speak. I didn't know whether it was good or bad or what, and after I posted it, I forgot all about it for a while.

Then the memory of it came back to me one day, and I wanted to see it again, so I used the Google, and I found the comment. But it was in a different form, and a different place. Much to my surprise, my comment from the bradblog had been re-posted on a forum hosted in the Czech Republic, where it anchored a heavily commented thread of its own! And guess who had put it there?

I've always appreciated the vote of confidence, but I've never thanked Bob for it. Well, better late than never.

Not to be too self-referential or anything, but most of my current readers were not around at the time, and I thought you might like to see some "vintage WP". So here's a link to the comment in its original context, and the relevant excerpts follow:
Kofi Annan is getting raked over the coals based on entirely unproven allegations. Supposedly in America you are considered innocent until proven guilty. But in some quarters Annan is considered guilty based on discredited allegations, and charges that cannot possibly be proven. [...]

This is the newest example of a very old tactic. They've been doing it for decades. And they just keep getting better at it. By now it's so well-refined that it's almost an art form. A black art to be sure. "Shame" is right.

Here's how it works: They do something awful, make a big mess and blame it on somebody else -- usually the political opponent they fear the most. Then they use the inevitable backlash as a pretext to attack, without ever doing a proper investigation into what caused the mess in the first place. Of course they can't do a proper investigation -- they can't possibly allow a proper investigation -- because if the truth ever came out in a timely way, there would be royal hell to pay.

I'm reminded of this because I've recently been re-reading some of the best books written about the JFK assassination, and the parallels are all there, in spades, just sitting there waiting to be noticed. For those who are too young to remember the story, JFK was surely the most liberal President ever elected; he wanted to stop the Cold War and work toward 'peaceful coexistence' with the Soviet Union. In November of 1963, he was murdered in Dallas, one of the most conservative -- i.e. oil-soaked -- cities in the country. And the 'official' story -- issued on the day of the assassination and never retracted -- was that he was killed by a dememted communist named Lee Harvey Oswald.

The communists had no grudge with Kennedy. He was -- by their measure -- the most reasonable President ever to sit in the Oval Office. But there were some very powerful internal forces who hated him with a passion, such as CIA and organized crime, who were both ticked because JFK refused to assist CIA in their plan to overthrow Castro and give Havana back to the gamblers.

Virtually every detail of the official story has since been shown to be too absurd for any honest thinking person to believe. But this hasn't stopped the establishment echo-chamber from repeating it endlessly.

And like the official stories of so many other national tragedies, this story is absurd even on the face of it. You don't have to do any digging at all to see it as the farce that it is; all you have to do is think about it a bit. As if a communist would ever want to kill a President who was loved by the left and reviled by the right. As if a communist would prefer to see an oil-soaked Texan -- LBJ -- in the Oval Office, rather than a 'Massachusetts liberal' like JFK. As if you could even find a communist in Dallas in 1963. Yeah, right. Spin me another yarn, boys.

The deeper you dig the more absurd it gets. Kennedy wanted to disengage from Vietnam. Immediately after the assassination we were told that no national policies would be changed. But within three days LBJ had signed an executive order rescinding Kennedy's planned withdrawal. And the US was plunged into a foreign war of aggression, based entirely on transparent lies, without any realistic or reasonable reason or plan or exit strategy. Does any of this sound familiar? That war lasted for another 12 years!

Most of the so-called evidence against Oswald was very obviously fabricated. But the oil-soaked corporate media whores of the day bought it all up, and fed it into the establishment echo chamber, and the echoes still reverberate to this day. [...] These things are all connected. And very deeply so.

The official story of 9/11 has numerous and important parallels to the official story of the JFK assassination. Again the official story is absurd on the face of it, and even more ludicrous the deeper you dig into it. Again we're looking at a national tragedy that somehow happened to benefit an oil-soaked Texan. Again we're looking at a case where the official story came out on the day of the event, long before any reasonable investigation could possibly have been conducted. Again it's a case where no reasonable investigation was ever conducted -- just another oil-soaked whitewash or two.

In this case we are supposed to believe that 19 Islamic fundamentalists armed with cell phones and box cutters somehow managed to outfox the most sophisticated intelligence establishment ever built. Yeah, right. As if jet fuel burning near the 80th story of a 100-story tower could generate enough heat to produce pools of molten steel in the sub-basement. Yeah, right. As if these fires could reduce thousands of tons of concrete to toxic gray dust, while leaving the passport of the supposed ringleader [sic] not only virtually undamaged but just lying there in plain sight. As if a commercial airliner could slam into the Pentagon leaving a hole about 30 feet in diameter, while leaving no trace of its wings or tail or engines outside the building. Yeah, right. Spin me another yarn, boys.

Dig even deeper and the story gets even more ludicrous. But again the oil-soaked corporate media whores bought it hook line and sinker, and fed it to the world through the echo chamber. We were told that no national policies would be changed, because changing our way of life would be admitting that the 'terrorists' had won. But within seven weeks the so-called PATRIOT act was passed, and the shredding of the Bill of Rights had begun. Within a month the US was involved in another foreign war of aggression, against a country which had really never done anything to us, but this time they told us right from the start that the war may not end in our lifetimes. As if we need endless war with the rest of the world. Who does this help? Not us. Not the rest of the world. The only people it helps are a certain oil-soaked Texan and his obscenely wealthy backers. Excuse me for a moment while I puke. Spin me another yarn while I'm gone, will you, boys?

Back to the present national tragedy: an election so obviously fixed that a full 20% of Americans can see that it's rotten to the core, without any publicity from the current generation of oil-soaked media whores. As if the majority of Americans would vote for an oil-soaked Texan whose policies clearly work to their detriment. As if nobody notices, or cares, that we're in another foreign war without any plan or any exit strategy, nor any good reason for being there. As if we approve of a regime that seeks to 'legitimize' torture, and commit cold-blooded murder on an enormous scale, and turn our once-great nation into a pariah in the eyes of the world. As if the majority of Americans would ever want that. Give me a break. Spin me another yarn, boys.

How stupid do they think we are? How stupid are you? How stupid are your neighbors? How many of us do you think really bought into all that Bush-Cheney bullshit? Do we really think we're safer now, that we're waging war on a country that never did anything to us? Do you really think we're less likely to suffer a terrorist attack now, considering that we have the same so-called leadership in place that allowed the 9/11 attacks to succeed? How many Americans do you REALLY think are that stupid? [...]

Again it comes down to the organized criminals and the gamblers and an oil-soaked Texan and his obscenely wealthy friends. Again the country is in the hands of people who have shown quite clearly that they don't give a damn about the voice of the people, nor about policies that would help the people. All they care about is amassing as much power as possible, by any means possible, so they can use it to impoverish America while demolishing foreign countries and enriching their obscenely wealthy oil-soaked backers.

Follow the money; follow the oil; follow the electronic voting machines; follow the corrupt politicians -- they all lead to the same place. It's a place the oil-soaked corporate media whores will never even admit exists, but it's there, and we know about it, and this is one genie that can never be put back in the bottle. Too much is at stake.

No more dreaming. No more waiting for the miracle that never comes. No more hoping that Keith Olbermann will finally decide to stop smearing the people who are trying to tell the truth about these national tragedies. The oil-soaked corporate media whores are enemies of our democracy, as they have always been, and if we are going to do anything for the future of our country then we will have to do it without them.

Since 9/11 too many people have been too frightened to talk about anything that matters. That has to stop and it has to stop right now. We need to keep talking about all this stuff, not only here [...] but everywhere. Bring your friends up to speed; get your family there too. Spread the word in every way you can and don't stop. We the people have enormous untapped power, and most of it is economic. We hardly even have any idea how to use it. So we need to learn how velvet revolutions work in other countries. Look at what happened to Slobodan Milosevic. Look at what happened to Ferdinand Marcos. Look at what's happening in the Ukraine. Could we do something similar? Of course we could.
Thanks, Bob. And hang tough, too. Mysterious ways, my friend.