Yesterday America spoke. Very quietly. You may have missed it.
The majority of Americans did not *vote*. This is an indictment of the Two Party system in and of itself. Why is that?
Think on this: the Nation was viciously attacked on 9/11, pulled of a stunning victory in Afghanistan, then redoubled that in less time in Iraq, all of this while growing the economy at record rates and reducing the deficit, and employing more Americans. And what did We the People get from our wonderful elected Representatives and Senators in Congress?
"Culture of Corruption!"
From my vantage point having to decide between a 'conservative' who is gay that had a few lewd emails with an adult and a 'liberal' adult that has ties to a known gangster on a Federal Land Sales deal makes it pretty hard to decide which is worse. You know, 30 years ago that would have been REVERSED. Switch the labels and there you have it: liberal to conservative and vice versa. Lovely, huh?
Then we have the folks wanting a 'different direction' in Iraq. But, they can't really settle on a 'Right Direction' for themselves, nonetheless Iraq. In point of fact what we CAN expect to see is CONTINUED unbridled government spending, increases in taxation, all sorts of great nostrums of Federal Programs that will assuredly go to secure districts and not really help the Nation and, generally, business as usual. Big Government Liberal or Big Government Conservative BOTH gets you Big Government.
I am not really all that fond of Big Government or even small government: lean and barely able to do its job government is more the way I see things, so this change of parties represents NO change to me from that perspective.
What we are seeing is a changing of the guard from lesser incompetence to complete incompetence, which is about where the vaunted Two Party System stands these days: they represent fractions of the Nation and cannot even get a majority out to vote. The trust of the American People was to NOT vote and express disgust for Two Parties neither of which has any good in store for the Nation. This system has just run out of the 20th century fuel and now has ZERO in its tank, but fumes might let it coast along for another few years.
So many champions of the Two Party System have pointed out to how it 'successfully' co-opts small party ideas and uses them to gain acceptance. That would be great, if true. Instead, what happens is a *program* gets picked up and pushed to reduce the adherence to that third party and thus get rid of it. Now, the argument goes that 'this party wouldn't have had a chance to actually form a majority so it is *better* to have a program put in place than none at all'. But the counter-argument is: the third party is not given a CHANCE to find out as it is squashed by the existing parties.
And what the champions of the system miss is that the third party may have had an actual, programmatic underpinning to how it REACHED the things it advocated. By removing it *that* entire conception of how to run a party and better serve the People is NOT put to the test. This co-option removes ideas from the political marketplace and then marginalizes them by saying: 'oh, that never got anyplace'.
Such wondrousness! It didn't amount to anything because it was co-opted and stifled and marginalized before it could even get its message out. So by being a bully, the Two Parties are being GOOD to the Republic. See?
Look at the Libertarians and you will see a pretty fair lot of die-hard fanatics and the entire conception of Libertarianism turning into Libertinism. And in any conception they don't rank supporting the Nation as a very high thing on their agenda.
Or look at the scattered mess of the Socialists. They had the heart of their party ripped out by the Democrats in the 1930's with the movement of Social Security and 'retirement age' pushed on the population. Say what you will about the Socialists, I know I have a couple of times, the main part of the Socialist Party had barely survived the multiple splits after WWI when if you were for/against the USSR and pro/con Trotsky and with /against Stalin all caused the main party to splinter. Still, it was a semi-viable party right up to the point the Democratic Party took out a couple of programs and *presto* handed us Socialist Programs for America! The Socialist Party dragged on and all of its splinters *still* have a few adherents, but it is dead as a concept. Socialism may not have been too viable for the US because the US did not fit into any pattern the Socialists could identify as it was non-European and doing strange things with industry beyond the dreams of a worker's paradise.
After that you have to go into the mid-19th century to get the Republicans replacing the Whigs. Call THAT about 160 years or so of this wondrous Two Party system. See how viable it is today? Do you want your Nannystate to bug you about cholesterol or online gambling? Your choice!
The only major difference between the Parties is on fighting wars: one wants to but can't figure out how to do it, and the other admits its incompetence and calls for retreat faster than the French do. And NEITHER party has yet to begin the problems of Transnational Terrorism being enabled by BOTH the Right and the Left of this Nation. In point of fact NEITHER of these 'oh-so-wise-and-wonderful' Two Parties has YET to put out Goals on the Global War on Terror.
What we get, instead, is purely from the 20th century.
- One party wants to address it as a 'Nation State' problem and if you could just get a handle on the Nations supporting it, you could eliminate it. Shall I cite a couple of organizations that are Terrorist and NOT beholden to a Nation State? al Qaeda. How about the various forms of IRA? Ever hear of FARC? What about Shining Path? Tell me which Nation is responsible for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, please? Or the one fostering Islamic Jihad? Come on! This should be EASY if it was all 'just based on Nation States'.....
- The other party wants to treat this as a Law Enforcement problem. Now, this may be a hard thing for those supporting this to hear but it does need to come to your attention that Acts of Terrorism are Acts of Illegitimate War. Did we send the FBI out to hit the shores of Normandy? How about having them at the Kasserine Pass? What about the Barbary Pirates... well, before their time, to be sure, have to go with the Secret Service then... When an Act of War is waged upon the Nation it is not a Civilian Illegal act. It does, indeed, break a few laws, but the main one is the Sovereign Right of a Nation to Not be Attacked. Attacking a Nation is an Act of War.
What neither of these parties could do is actually take some time to figure out if an actual strategy was being used in Iraq. But there was one and it still remains viable because the underlying conceptions of it ARE slow moving. But the 'talking heads' and 'Elites' can't seem to figure THAT out because it would take, you know, reading reports, thinking about the processes in place, looking at results over time and, generally, moving away from the blood and blast strewn coverage of the television that the ENEMY wants us to see. And so we get all sorts of plans to 'stabilize Iraq' none of which are moored to this reality. Mind you, thinking up one that IS moored to this reality takes actually understanding the PROBLEM and addressing it as a problem to be SOLVED, not one kicked down the road for a few years.
And that is the party actually RUNNING THE DAMNED WAR!
The one that is 'returning to power' is absolutely clueless and wishes to gut the honor of this Nation, return to a 20th century multi-generational war that will have NO END IN SIGHT EVER. They want to have LOTS of extra deaths tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and want to keep running until they are under their beds and the Butcher is coming into their room to get them. But that is what a 'proportionate response to war' gets you: dead. These fine folks apparently WANT another Vietnam which wound up with three Nations depending upon us falling (ever hear of the 'Domino Theory'?), hundreds of thousands displaced, millions impoverished and the USSR emboldened to start staging MORE proxy conflicts to tear down the US because we have proven that it WORKS. And part of that was Afghanistan and do you know what came from that? al Qaeda. There are long term consequences to defeat. But even for those who are too cowardly to want to continue on in Iraq, I offer a way out: A Jacksonian Retreat.
And if you want one extra, very sweet topping on all of THAT, apparently the Iraqi nuclear scientists who went missing after the war (you heard about the war, didn't you?) have now shown up in SYRIA. Helping them out are Syrian, Iranian and ex-Russian Republic nuclear scientists. Now, far be it from me, but I would say that our wonderful and ever so handy INTEL services have been a bit lax on this, as while they were all concentrating on IRAN the actual 'know how' seems to have been concentrated in SYRIA.
Now we hear about the Sec. Def. Retiring, which basically ensures that this entire thing will drag on to 2008 with no one wanting to do anything and because of that, if we are lucky, we will get 'stay the course' until then. Which will help to stir up the old 'Vietnam Syndrome' amongst the creaking hippies and yippies in the population and bring back some meals for those remembering that dishonorable period of letting a US Ally hang out to dry in the Communist winds.
But now I will add some very, special, extra spice to that and point out that Robert M. Gates, the man replacing the Sec Def, comes from the 'Iraq Study Group' at the US Institute of Peace at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And it was led by James Baker III, who was such a swell Cold War Secretary of State, wasn't he? Now this gracious group of gray nodding heads came up with two, count them TWO ways to handle Iraq, because 'stay the course' wouldn't fit in a timeline. Such good folks to put a timeline on democracy and freedom, aren't they? Such big hearted folks! Can they please tell me what the countdown clock IS so that I know when the terrorist attacks will begin in earnest?
So when they pontificated upon their vast and deep experience of the Cold War (say, did THAT keep to a timeline?) they said forth thusly for their two, most splendid directions:
1) Station troops in nearby bases and intervene as necessary.
2) Call in Iraq's Neighbors because they do NOT want an unstable Iraq.
Ok, how fast can these be blown apart? I will give it a fair shot.
Yes, James Baker III actually BELIEVES that tripe about 'staging troops outside the country' and 'neighbors wanting a stable Iraq'. What planet has Mr. Baker been living on the past two decades? It certainly has NOT been this one! And Mr. Gates comes from the Study Group that signed OFF on this! Now you are trying to tell me that he actually has a better *clue* as to what is going on than the leaving SecDef? Well, maybe Mr. Gates put out 'minority reports' and disagreed with the Group... oh, wait, there is nothing under his name to that effect! Nope.On #1: How fast will the US be able to get ground forces into the mountainous border areas on the Iraq/Iran border to stop a crossing there? Even if we are in Kurdistan the idea of 'days' comes to mind because there is NO LOGISTICS TRAIN LEFT once you pull out. Airpower? Tell you what, ask al Qaeda how well that works ALONE without boots on the ground that know how to coordinate between ground and air forces. Place US 'observers' with Iraqi units? But that is entirely CONTRARY to this idea. You might as well have entire MNF units there, then.
And where, precisely, will they be staged? Iran is out. Ditto Syria. Saudi Arabia will not want us back too soon. Turkey has been giving us troubles and the border is not something they will let us cross at will. Kuwait is too small. That leaves, Jordan.
Mind you, this stuff is coming from people who have decades of experience..... in the Cold War.
On #2: Iran and Syria want stability in Iraq? Then why are they funding the Mahdi Army?
Do they want stability in the region? Ever hear of 'Hezbollah' and 'missiles' and 'Lebanon'?
They have no evil intent? Read up a bit about nuclear scientists in Syria, please.
At least Saudi Arabia will do something.... but they cannot even STOP al Qaeda from crossing the desert to get into Iraq.
Turkey is looking for peace, right? Ever hear of subjugation of the Kurdish minority?How about cross-border attacks that have been going on for some months?That leaves: Jordan and Kuwait. Good luck, folks!
Basically it looks like the Party of the First Part is just as bad as the Party of the Second Part because they BOTH do not know how to address the MODERN WORLD.
Which brings me back to the election and the point brought up by my lady when I termed this a 'Satan vs. Cthulhu' election: two evils that you knew and one barely tolerable and the other abominable. The reply was: 'We should be so lucky. This is Cthulhu vs. Shub-Niggaroth.'
Slimy Evil against Amorphous Evil.
No matter how you voted, Evil won.
Because the majority sits silent, disenfranchised and disgusted with both parties.