Tags: Afghanistan, pollitical cartoon, presidential debates, war
Tags: Barack Obama, Iraq War, Michael Moore, Navy SEALs, Osama bin Laden, Osama BinLaden, Timothy McVeigh, United State, United States Navy SEALs
An email from Michael Moore Thursday, May 12, 2011 8:19 AM is definitely worth reading. Moore makes some very good points.
Some Final Thoughts on the Death of Osama bin Laden …a letter from Michael Moore
“The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we’re not like them. We’re Americans. We roll different.” – Michael Moore in an interview last week
Thursday, May 12th, 2011
Last week, President Obama fulfilled a campaign promise and killed Osama bin Laden. Well he didn’t actually do the killing himself. It was carried out by a very brave and excellent team of Navy SEALs. Not only does Mr. Obama have the overwhelming support of the country, I think there are millions who gladly wish it could have been their finger on the gun that took out bin Laden.
When I heard the news a week ago Sunday, I immediately felt great. I felt relief. I thought of those who lost a loved one on 9/11. And I was glad we finally had a President who got something done. This is what I had to say on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet in that first hour or two:
I want to point out that Barack Obama took two years to do what Bush couldn’t do in over seven. That’s the difference between STUPID in charge and SMART in charge. STUPID pursues two reckless wars, lets OBL escape from Tora Bora, keeps looking for him in caves and invades the wrong country. He bankrupts us to the tune of $1.2 trillion for the Iraq War (it will eventually actually be over $3 trillion), and worse, he cost us the lives of almost 5,000 of our troops, not to mention hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan – and, after all that, he STILL couldn’t bring the perp to justice. In fact, in 2005, Bush closed down the CIA station that was devoted to looking for bin Laden! What does SMART do? He sends in a small elite strike force, no troops are killed, and the perpetrator is stopped for good.
I was thrilled that the Osama bin Laden era was over. There was now an end to the madness.
Being near Ground Zero that night, I decided to head over there and join with others who saw this event as a chance to have some closure. On 9/11, Bill Weems, a good and decent man I knew and worked with (we had just recently completed a shoot together in Boston), was on the plane that was flown into the Twin Towers. I dedicated ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,’ in part, to him.
But before leaving to go to the former World Trade Center site, I turned on the TV, and what I saw down at Ground Zero was not quiet relief and gratification that the culprit had been caught. Rather, I witnessed a frat boy-style party going on, complete with the shaking and spraying of champagne bottles over the crowd. I can completely understand people wanting to celebrate – like I said, I, too, was happy – but something didn’t feel right. It’s one thing to be happy that a criminal has been captured and dealt with. It’s another thing to throw a kegger celebrating his death at the site where the remains of his victims are still occasionally found. Is that who we are? Is that what Jesus would do? Is that what Jefferson would do? I was reminded of the tale told to me as a kid, of God’s angels singing with glee as the Red Sea came crashing back down on the Egyptians chasing the Israelites, drowning all of them. God rebuked them, saying, “The work of My hands is drowning in that sea – and you want to friggin’ sing?” (or something like that).
I remember my parents telling me how, on the day it was announced that Hitler was dead, there was no rejoicing in the streets, just private relief and satisfaction. The real celebration came six days later at the announcement that the war in Europe was over. THAT’S what the people wanted to hear – not just the demise of one evil madman, but the end to all the killing.
When the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, people didn’t pour into the streets to whoop it up. Yes, people were happy that it might help end the war, but there was not a public display of “Yippee! A hundred thousand Japs have been fried!” If they had done that, well, who could have blamed them after so many tens of thousands of their sons and fathers had been lost in the war (including my uncle, a paratrooper, killed by a sniper near Manila). But the sailor kissing the girl in Times Square was on August 14th, 1945, when the Japanese surrendered and the war was officially over. That’s when America went crazy with joy – not over a killing, but over an announcement of peace.
We are a different people now, aren’t we? Well, sorta. There was no bloodlust euphoria on the day Timothy McVeigh was executed. We were silent. The families of the Oklahoma City dead were silent, relieved. What is the difference between McVeigh and bin Laden, other than the number they slaughtered? I wonder. I think we know the answer.
Though bin Laden is dead, we are told that Orwell’s Permanent War – the “War on Terror” – must continue! Not allowed to have our V-J day and run into Times Square with exhilaration! No, there could be terrorists there. So all we’re left with is to cheer the death of one evil man, and that is supposed to make us feel powerful and good. There can be no celebration for the end of the Afghanistan War because the war isn’t ending. The war must continue! Even though our own CIA tells us there are no more than a few dozen al Qaeda left in Afghanistan. We still have 100,000 troops there fighting a few dozen crazies? We say we’re fighting the Taliban, too, but the Taliban are Afghan citizens, not an invading force, and, for better or worse, they seem to enjoy the support of many of the common people throughout Afghanistan. (If you don’t believe that, ask any soldier who has served there and seen it. Every day is like ‘Apocalypse Now.’ Poppies, anyone?)
Meanwhile, we – me, included – get lost in the weeds of how this one madman was killed. The official story from the Pentagon changed four times in the first four days! It went from OBL firing on the troops with one hand and using his wife as a human shield with the other, to, by the fourth day, not single person in the main house, including bin Laden, being armed when killed. Instantly, this created a lot of suspicion about what really happened, which itself was a distraction.
Here’s my take: I know a number of Navy SEALs. In fact (and this is something I don’t like to talk about publicly, for all the obvious reasons), I hire only ex-SEALs and ex-Special Forces guys to handle my own security (I’ll let you pause a moment to appreciate that irony). These SEALs are trained to follow orders. I don’t know what their orders were that night in Abbottabad, but it certainly looks like a job (and this is backed up in a piece in the Atlantic) where they were told to not bring bin Laden back alive. The SEALs are pros at what they do and they instantly took out every adult male (every potential threat) within a few minutes – but they also took care to not harm a single one of the nine children who were present. Pretty amazing. This wasn’t some Rambo-style operation where they just went in guns blazing, spraying bullets. They acted swiftly and with expert precision. I’m telling you, these guys are so smart and so lethal, they could take you out with a piece of dental floss. (And in fact, one of my ex-SEAL guys showed me how to do that one night. Whoa.)
In a perfect world (yes, I would like to reside there someday, or at least next door to it, in Slightly Imperfect World), I would like the evildoers to be forced to stand trial in front of that world. I know a lot of people see no need for a trial for these bad guys (just hang ‘em from the nearest tree!), and think trials are for sissies. “They’re guilty, off with their heads!” Well, you see, that is the exact description of the Taliban/al Qaeda/Nazi justice system. I don’t like their system. I like ours. And I don’t want to be like them. In fact, the reason I like a good trial is that I like to show these bastards this is how it’s done in a free country that believes in civilized justice. It’s good for the rest of the world to see that, too. Sets a good example.
The other thing a trial does is, it establishes a very public and permanent historic record of the crimes against humanity. This is why we put the Nazis on trial in Nuremberg. We didn’t do it for them. We did it for ourselves and for our grandchildren so that they would never forget these horrors and how they were committed. And we did it for the German people so they could see the evidence of what their elected leaders had done. Very helpful. Very necessary. Very powerful.
And for those who wanted blood back then – well, the majority of the Nazis all hanged in the end. So, it doesn’t mean the bad guys get away – they still swing from the highest tree.
My own spiritual beliefs do not allow for capital punishment, and I was raised in the state (Michigan) that in the 1840s was the first government in the English-speaking world to outlaw it. So, I’m just not inclined that way. I don’t believe in “an eye for an eye.” I know the old book said that, but I like its sequel better (a rare case in which the sequel – like Godfather II, Star Trek II, Terminator II – is better than the original). If you don’t believe the way I believe (it’s also the official position of the Catholic Church, for whatever that’s worth these days), then that’s your right, and I understand.
Perhaps there was no way to bring him back alive – I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be in that dark house trying to make that snap decision. But if the execution was ordered in advance, then I say we should be told that now, and we can like it or not like it.
For nine years I wrote and I said that Osama bin Laden was not hiding in a cave. I’m not a cave expert, I was just using my common sense. He was a multimillionaire crime boss (using religion as his cover), and those guys just don’t live in caves. He had people killed under the guise of religion, and not many in the media bothered to explain that every time Osama referenced Islam, he wasn’t really quoting Islam. Just because Osama said he was a “Muslim” didn’t make it so. Yet he was called a Muslim by everyone. If a crazy person started running around mass-killing people, and he did so while wearing a Wal-Mart blazer and praising Wal-Mart, we wouldn’t automatically call him a Wal-Mart leader or say that Wal-Mart was the philosophy behind his killings, would we?
Yet, we began to fear Muslims and round them up. We profiled people from Muslim nations at airports. We didn’t profile multi-millionaires (in fact, they now have their own fast-track line to easily get through security, an oddity considering every murderer on 9/11 flew in first class). We didn’t run headlines that said “Multi-Millionaire Behind the Mass Murder of 3,000″ (although every word in that headline is true). You can say his wealth had nothing to do with 9/11, but the truth is, there is no way he could have kept Al Qaeda in business without having the millions he had.
Some believe that this was a “war” we were in with al Qaeda – and you don’t do trials during war. It’s thinking like this that makes me fear that, while bin Laden may be dead, he may have “won” the bigger battle. Let’s be clear: There is no “war with al Qaeda.” Wars are between nations. Al Qaeda was an organization of fanatics who committed crimes. That we elevated them to nation status – they loved it! It was great for their recruiting drive.
We did exactly what bin Laden said he wanted us to do: Give up our freedoms (like the freedom to be assumed innocent until proven guilty), engage our military in Muslim countries so that we will be hated by Muslims, and wipe ourselves out financially in doing so. Done, done and done, Osama. You had our number. You somehow knew we would eagerly give up our constitutional rights and become more like the authoritarian state you dreamed of. You knew we would exhaust our military and willingly go into more debt in eight years than we had accumulated in the previous 200 years combined.
Maybe you knew us so well because you were once one of our mercenaries, funded and armed by us via our friends in Pakistan to fight the other Evil Empire in the last battle of the Cold War. Only, when the killing stopped, the trained killer, our “Frankenstein,” couldn’t. The monster, you, would soon turn on us.
If we really want to send bin Laden not just to his death, but also to his defeat, may I suggest that we reverse all of that right now. End the wars, bring the troops home, make the rich pay for this mess, and restore our privacy and due process rights that used to distinguish us from any other country. Right now, our democracy looks like Singapore and our economy has gone desperately Greek.
I know it will be hard to turn the clock back to before 9/11 when all we had to worry about were candidates stealing elections. A multi-billion dollar industry has grown up around “homeland security” and the terror wars. These war profiteers will not want to give up their booty so easily. They will want to keep us in fear so they can keep raking it in. We will have to stop them. But first we must stop believing them.
Hideki Tojo killed my uncle and millions of Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos and a hundred thousand other Americans. He was the head of Japan, the Emperor’s henchman, the man who was the architect of Pearl Harbor. When the American soldiers went to arrest him, he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest. The soldiers immediately worked on stopping his bleeding and rushed him to an army hospital where he was saved by our army doctors. He then had his day in court. It was a powerful exercise for the world to see. And on December 23, 1948, after he was found guilty, we hanged him. A killer of millions was forced to stand trial. A killer of 4,000 (counting the African embassies and USS Cole bombings) got double-tapped in his pajamas. Assuming it was possible to take him alive, I think his victims, the future, and the restoration of the American Way deserved better. That’s all I’m saying.
Good riddance Osama.
Come back to your ways, my good ol’ USA.
Tags: Al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency, Islam, Osama bin Laden, September 11 attacks, television news
I don’t know if, in other countries, the news media go as crazy as as they do in the U.S. but last night if I’d owned a gun I would have shot the TV, which would have amounted to shooting the messenger. If you haven’t figured out what I’m referring to or if you’ve been in a cave and haven’t heard; Osama bin Laden is dead, Osama bin Laden has been killed, Osama bin Laden is dead, the U.S. killed Osama bin Laden, Osama bin Laden is dead, Osama bin Laden is dead, Osama bin Laden is dead. Keep reading, I’ m about to tell you that Osama bin Laden is dead.
I watch about four or five hours of television a week, and last night I turned the set on, all set to veg out on the couch for one of those hours, to indulge in my guilty pleasure. Instead, there was news that Osama bin Laden had been killed. I gathered, from watching, that this special newscast had already been underway for awhile. It went on for hours, repeating in as many different ways as they could figure out how to tell us, bin Laden was dead. We were also informed that President Obama was going to be telling us that we got him, he’s dead. Why? We already knew at that point, the news people ruined the surprise for us. Damn you news people!
I don’t think anyone told Obama he didn’t get to be the first to break the news, that someone had already let the cat out of the bag, that we were way ahead of him. But, he delivered the news as if it were the first time we were hearing it and we, well some of us, politely pretended it was.
And, as expected, after Obama spoke we were returned to the news coverage where they told us what the President just said in as many different ways they knew how, and on and on and on…
At the end of the coverage the local news came on and you’ll never guess what that was about. As far as I’m concerned the story could have waited until the ten o’clock news; it’s not like bin Laden was going to get any deader.
When I first heard the news, I was skeptical, but they assured us it was, in fact bin Laden who was killed, verified by DNA. I’m sorry but that’s just not going to be enough, I’m going to need to see a birth certificate.
Several times there was mention that we were not involved in a war against Islam, but a war against terrorism. It’s too bad that point wasn’t driven home by the news media as much as some of their other coverage because an awful lot of Americans never got that message. There has been way too much anti-Muslim sentiment, and hatred expressed in the media and by the average man on the street since 9/11. Far too many Americans believe the war is about Islam and that all people of Islamic faith are terrorists and that all Islamic children are educated to hate Americans and become terrorists.
In response to the news of bin Laden’s demise, people took to the streets en masse, singing and chanting, USA, USA, USA… When the camera panned in on those chanting I realized, with the sound turned off, they looked very similar to the images we’ve seen of Muslims chanting in the streets. I imagined how we might have looked to those outside. I’m guessing our people chanting in the streets added fuel to an alreaedy pissed off (by bin Laden’s death) Al-Qaeda.
Far be it from me to defend religion, I think it’s all evil. Don’t even get me started on the atrocities committed in the name of christianity. But I am nothing, if not fair, so here is my version of the news: We are not at war with Islam. There are good and bad people of all religions. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Terrorist acts have been committed by people of all religions.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
Coming soon, a guest writer to tell you that we are not at war with Islam and that Osama bin Laden is dead and we have the DNA to prove it. Now is they can just get us that birth certificate…
Tags: blame, Bush, bush bailouts, deficit, economy, race
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Tags: 14th amendment, anchor babies, beastiality, congress, dumb politicians, illegal immigration, Rep. Louis Gohmert, terror babies
When I was a kid I believed that elected officials from the local level right on up to congress and the president were intelligent people who would do what is best for the citizens of this country. Was that just my youthful gullibility? Has it always been the case that if you’re too stupid to do anything else you are perfectly suited for a career in politics?
I’m not saying all politicians are stupid but intelligence is obviously not a requirement, and in fact seems to be an impediment to being elected. There are an increasing proportion of politicos who would do better if they never opened their mouths, because when they do some really stupid crap comes spilling out.
Here are three videos relating to Rep. Louis Gohmert whose stupidity is just amazing. In one video it is mentioned that he is a former judge, which means he somehow got through law school and managed to rise to the level of interpreting the law from the bench. I thought that took at least some smarts which this guy just doesn’t have. I don’t know, maybe he tripped getting down from the bench one day, fell on his head and wound up in politics. If the scale keeps tipping in the direction of stupidity we, as a nation, are in deep shit.
Tags: cell phone, Cell Phones and Driving, illegal immigration, mobile devices, Mobile phone, smart phones, torture, water boarding
If an illegal immigrant donates sperm while in the U.S. is the sperm automatically granted citizenship, and if so this raises and interesting question; does citizenship begin at conception or birth?
The very first time I heard the term water-boarding I thought it was some sort of sport (like surfing or wake boarding). When I learned what it really was I thought, how very clever devious to name a method of torture to sound like a sport. This way when a prisoner learns he/she will be taken for water-boarding they will offer no resistance because they’ll think they heading off for a day at the beach or the pool for recreation.
New smart phones or mobile devices – or whatever the hell is the latest name for cell phones – can now be used to watch movies and television, so the problem of distracted drivers (who talk or text while driving) is probably going to make our roads look like a bumper car ride at an amusement park.
School started a couple weeks ago and since the day the school opened its doors I and just about everyone else I know has been sick with some sort of virus that lasts about a week. This happens every year. I am imagining that when school closes for the summer those nasty little bugger germs probably have a little germ gym where they work out and become stronger by the day, until they all become super germs on steroids. On opening day they choose an unsuspecting host to take them out into the community to wreak havoc on our health.
Tags: art, sand painting, talent
It’s a tad long, but worth every mesmerizing second.
Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine’s version of “America’s Got Talent.” She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and “sand painting” skills to interpret Germany’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.