Friday, March 13, 2009


The political class is incapable of solving
the problems they created

--Bill Moyers Journal

You've got to win a little, lose a little,

yes, and always have the blues a little.

That's the story of, that's the glory of love

--The Glory of Love, The Dells

Women! They let 'em vote, smoke and drive

-- even put 'em in pants! And what happens?

A Democrat for president!

--Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

We are destroying ourselves without any help from al-Qaeda. The threat to America is elected rather than imported from foreign battlefields. This is a truth the American electorate finds too painful to even contemplate.

The American voters mandated change in both 2006 and 2008, yet things remain in stasis. America is at a critical juncture in the history of the Republic. The will of the people has no expression that is translated into policy. Democracy has no relevance if words have no meaning.

This is why the war in Afghanistan is being ramped up. It is a distraction to keep our eye off the ball and provide an external threat against which to hurl our discontent. It is being fought for non-taxpaying people with money that the U.S. doesn't have.

Why did Obama choose to amp up before his study group was even selected? The decision preceded the recommendations, which seems a continuation of business as usual -- emotion-laden versus rational choices. For those who voted against war and for change: what was the value of that vote? 30,000 more young Americans are about to descend upon the Afghan countryside.

While the cost of our wars is a major component of our current economic woes, our tanked economy cannot be blamed on George Bush alone. Elective wars did not commence with Mr. Bush; the U.S. has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since our early history. Wars and foreign intrigue are irresistible urges for impotent politicians.

Ranger's down-and-dirty historical tour:
The first Korean venture in the 1870's, the Philippines, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Panama,Grenada and the Boxer Rebellion are old imperial programs dating back to the early 1900's. Panama was stolen from Columbia with U.S. contrivance.

The U.S. has always been an aggressive big brother. The early 19th century saw expansionist wars against Canada and Mexico. We have purchased, stolen and conquered with war a great peace-loving nation.

The current U.S. course was chartered by Truman's use of troops in a "police action" in Korea. U.S. policy inspired the 1950 United Nations reaction to the North Korean invasion of the South. The U.S. populace accepted a major war, undeclared by Congress.
Containment was the word of the day. Today, Terrorism is the new Containment.

Presidential powers were expanding, and no one blinked an eye. In the late 1940's the U.S. fought a major insurgency in Greece while we were losing big-time in China.
On March 12, 1947, President Truman established the Truman Doctrine to help Greece and Turkey resist Communism. Win a little, lose a lot. Drive on!

Eisenhower stuck U.S. fingers into Lebanon and the Suez crisis, fragmenting the U.S.-British-French alliance and becoming a part of the last vestiges of colonialism in the region. Prior to this, the U.S. played fast and loose in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, with consequences reverberating today.

Kennedy had the Cuban problem and continued Eisenhower's policies which bloomed into full-scale war in Vietnam. Again, no declaration of war, and this was sold as an action to insure democracy in the Republic of Vietnam, a theme dusted off from WW I -- the War to End All Wars, as democracy was the theme. Never mind the reality.

Johnson and Nixon offered more of the same. SSDD. Presidents Ford and Carter were too befuddled to cause any major foreign wars. Ford had the Mayaguez incident and Carter had the Iranian issue, which has yet to be resolved, and which stretches back to 1921. Same with Cuba, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reagan introduced Lebanon, Grenada, enhanced with illegal ventures in Panama, Nicaragua El Salvador, Guatemala and Iranscam.

George H.W. Bush was playing fast, loose and dirty as Central Intelligence Agency Director and Vice President. When Bush became president he cleaned up his back trail by invading Panama and jailing his drug-dealing little buddy, General Noriega.

This was a key event as the world and the U.S. accepted the kidnapping and jailing of a head of state wearing a general's uniform without the application of Geneva Conventions. The U.S. was transitioning into a regime change specialist.

Bill Clinton inherited the Somalia policy of Bush I, and we know how well that went. The Balkan adventure has the U.S. military still tied down in the region with no visible benefit to the American people or policies. It -- like so many other current military actions -- is ignored by the people and Congress as just another little sumpthin' we do.

Clinton was useless militarily except for establishing the policy of using missile strikes to help Americans feel good about being jacked around by goat herders and, more importantly, our government. Missiles are better than Prozac.

Americans should fear our presidents. We are no longer represented by them. We are patronized and unconstitutionally led, and we do not show any judicial, legislative or personal outrage at this fact. Both the Right and the Left should fear an executive branch that is out of balance with our constitutional framework.

A crankshaft out of balance in an engine will sabotage the forward movement of a vehicle. The vehicle cannot even access reverse if its engine is blown, and the U.S. executive engine has spun its bearings.

So what change awaits the expectant U.S. taxpayers and the world?

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

the first, and in many ways the scariest example of this from american history is the case of hamilton.

hamilton could have easily become the american "che," exporting our revolution throughout the hemisphere.

his vision was a standing federal army, with himself at its head of course, taking first florida, then cuba, then jamaica, then mexico, then down south all the way to patagonia. he envisioned one big nation, free of european colonial influence bestriding his narrow world like a colossus.

when he was pitching this plan to adams he used the analogy of spartacus' rebellion against rome, also sertorius in spain.

adams pointed out that both of those things ended badly for their leaders. spartacus' rebellion ended up with crassus nailing people to crosses every 200 paces from naples to rome. sertorius, after fighting a guerilla action against metellus, and pompey (not yet "magnus" but "carnifax juvenailus" or "kid butcher") for over a decade was finally killed by his own officers who had been lavishly bribed by rome. a rumor about that was, absent a resounding military victory pompey used some of his vast personal fortune to meet the bribes. then, he celebrated a triumph. the youngest roman to ever gain that honor.

hamilton was one of our most interesting founders. he was certainly one of the most dangerous.

Friday, March 13, 2009 at 10:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous sheerahkahn said...

"So what change awaits the expectant U.S. taxpayers and the world?"

There are too many variables to countenance the end many end results that can come of them, so I will dispose of the contemplation to advance the simple end point.
A break up of these United States into five, or more zones...nations...whatever...does it matter anymore?

One of the things that is rarely discussed in public, but often in private is that it is clear that the United States needs California more than California needs the United States.
And given the circumstances of our national condition, I am sure there are other states saying the same thing, but the sentiment that is generating those thoughts is the total lack of confidence in the braches of government.
So, secession is contemplated, not because of some need to be separated from the whole, but from the idea/fear/reality/realization that lives may be better off as a separate state rather than dragged over the cliff by a failed government.

Friday, March 13, 2009 at 3:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Ranger, wish I had more time to write a decent comment. But one quicky on the fly - MB, your history lessons are much appreciated.

Juan Moment

Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 5:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

As alwaays thanks for your feedback and kind words.
I always tell MB in back channel comms that we at RAW consider him a cowriter.I hesitate to say this but MB , the Navy guy that he is , has taught this Ranger a few things.

Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 9:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Juan Moment said...

Jim, you and Lisa have build a pearl of a watering hole on reality beach, and the many highly informative comments you get give me an idea of how learned and perceptive your readership is.

Regarding the actual topic and your summarizing question So what change awaits the expectant U.S. taxpayers and the world?

My guess is that in the short term nothing will change. Obama and his team of advisors are just as bought and paid for as the many administrations before them. Unless you are somehow in cahoots with the JP Morgans of this world, it makes no sense to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into the bottomless pit the banking sector has turned into, hard earned tax payers money spend on propping up bankrupt financial institutions such as AIG, while badly needed funding of social services is nowhere to be found.

Obama is a militarist and will create his own bloody blunders to guarantee he’ll be mentioned in Ranger's next down-and-dirty historical tour. Pakistan is at boiling point and the best policy Obummer can come up with is a continued antagonising of its people with drone fired missiles taking out entire families. 17’000 more troops into Afghanistan, fighting the local population. Madness.

In the longer term change is still possible though, however first the sheeple will have to wake up and get angry. I sincerely hope that after Obama’s stint in the White House, when the electorate realises that their once celebrated hero, the agent of change, brought them mostly more of the same, more wars, more debts, more upper class welfare, American voters will come to their senses and not return their sitting Dem and Rep members and start endorsing third party candidates. Also, imho for there to be a healthy democracy its form needs to be more direct, such as plebiscites on important matters like for instance military interventions or $700 billion TARP’s. It will take a concerted effort to get there, for sure, but where there is a will there is a way. The question is, how much shit has to go down before we put an end to this charade?

Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 11:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I don't have the solutions but I do have observations.The ability to govern has eluded the US President since 2000.This was due to pig ignorance and what's happening today is yet unclear but a pattern is emerging.
Governing is almost beyond our organisational abilities, it's all rather unweildy.People and our leaders can't really grasp concepts such as nuclear destruction, global warming, and what a trillion dollars actually looks and feels like.It's all academic and beyond our ability to grasp.Hence flawed and ideological policies to make up for our ignorant choices.Ideology trumps rational analysis and decisions in our brave new world.

PS. I sense your frustration and feelings that go far beyond your words.The same thing is eating my shorts these days.

Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 1:00:00 PM GMT-5  

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