liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Yep, he's taking off

As predicted, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is flying to Singapore today. He has left to attend an Asian Security Conference: the 2005 Shangri-La Dialogue, sponsored by IISS.

At the first plenary session on June 5, Rumsfeld will be addressing the conference with prepared remarks.

His speech, unlike his remarks on the detainess at Guantanamo before he left the country, is full of double-entendres.
Today, in this new era, our close cooperation with allies and friends in Asia is more essential than ever. The phenomenon of ideological extremism - of which terrorism is the weapon of choice - stands in the way of global political progress and economic prosperity, threatens the stability of the international order, and clouds the future of civil society.
The obvious implication of these remarks is self-incriminating! The "ideological extremism" is the neocon corporate-military doctrine of global domination that is undoing a century of global progress in human rights and international cooperation.
This is a picture of Odysseus and his men stabbing an olive tree spear into the sleeping Cyclops's eye.

Dandy Don is going to list these accomplishments of the 80-nation coalition to fight "terrorism" since September 11th:

  • Liberated 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan;

  • Captured or killed nearly two-thirds of known senior al-Qaeda operatives;

  • Arrested al-Qaeda's Southeast Asia chief who revealed crucial information about its operations in this region;

  • Detained or arrested at least 200 members of the Jemaah lslamiyah terror group;

  • Seized or frozen some $200 million in terrorist assets; and

  • Prompted Libya to voluntarily renounce terrorism and disclose and dismantle programs related to weapons of mass destruction.

With the possible exception of the last item on the list, these are ridiculous assertions. First of all, Afghanistan and Iraq are impoverished, war-devastated countries fraught with corruption and verging on civil war. In Afghanistan alone, according to a recent Amnesty International Report, abuses of civilians by armed groups, violence against women, an ineffective and corrupt justice system have been joined by abuses by US forces -- including torture and ill-treatment of detainess -- are systemic, as lawlessness and insecurity increase.

The same list of shortcomings to our "liberation" of 50 million people applies to Iraq. The daily reports of chaos, destruction, waste and slaughter there have renedered moot any comments I could make here about Rumsfeld's assertions. And he makes a lot of them. In his Shangri-La speech he goes on to talk about how the increased likelihood of danger to civilization is not from large conventional armies on the battlefied, but from small isolated terror cells that can strike anywhere at any time.

He sees no political element to the solution however, and enumerates only the same dry, one-eyed list of actions for addressing the threat:
  • First and foremost is strengthening our partnerships with existing allies and friends and working with newones;

  • Second is developing greater flexibility to deal with the unexpected;

  • Another is focusing on more rapidly deployable capabilities and power, rather than simply static presence and mass; and

  • Another is breaking down artificial barriers between regions in our planning, since today's dangers know no regional boundaries.

That terrorism is seen as "threatening the stability of the international order," is key to understanding Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration's myopic vision of how to confront it.

Terrorism has arisen out of "extreme ideologies" of groups that have been excluded from the progress and development of the "international order" for the last century, if not longer. The aim of terrorists is precisely to attack that order which has, and continues to mete out injustice to some and exclusive privilege to others.

But Cyclops wants to keep the powerful powerful and the weak weak, so preserving the "international order" against "terrorists" provides plenty of justification for neocon war-corporation profiteering and global domination. In the end, Rummy will travel on with this stump speech. It gives him a great excuse to get out of the crossfire from his bumbling misstatements about human rights and the American gulag. It's also the primary justification for our war policy, which, according to some analysts, is leading us further and further along the road to pre-emptive nuclear first strikes.


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