Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Charles Bronson

Charles Bronson passed away over the weekend. His obits generally cited only the Death Wish films, but my favorite Bronson film is Breakheart Pass. Nice appreciation here.

Hell No, the Neocons Won't Go

Wonderful article over in The Spectator about the neocon love of war and their equal love for keeping their tender pink asses as far away from a uniform as possible.

Here's a United States Marine, Roger McGrath, writing in Chronicles magazine (best American monthly by far) about war:

And who is to do it? Certainly not the neoconservatives. They use such terms as moral clarity and the need to project our power — but it is to be done with someone else’s body. A conversation I had with a budding neocon reveals their version of moral clarity. Who was included when he said 'we'. He looked at me as if I were a bit dense and said, ‘We, the United States.’ ‘Does that mean you?’ I asked. 'No,' he replied, 'the guys in the army.'

McGrath goes on to ask the neocon whether our boys should be put in harm’s way for interests that have nothing to do with the defence of the United States. ‘Are you willing to do what you call the right thing with your own body?’ asks the Marine. 'Those guys are volunteers — they chose to do it. I’m just finishing my degree and have a good job lined up.'

Need I say more? The neocon is not a soldier and does not plan to become one. Soldiering is for others. In a republic, it is the job of citizens. In an empire, it is imperial forces who do the fighting.

Which is a point the conservative Jerry Pournelle has made often. We no longer have an army of the people, we have Imperial Legions - and increasing numbers of our Imperial Legions are no longer even American citizens.

I'm for a no-exceptions draft. It's overdue. If the rich kids have to go, their parents might not be such enthusiastic warmongers.

Bend Over

Paul Krugman has a great piece in the NYT this morning about how the Bushies have basically let the parasites who stole billions from California during the rigged "energy shortage" off with little teeny tiny hand-slaps. Hey, donating money to Dubya really works!

Can Clark Win?

Good column by E.J. Dionne this morning in the Washington Post comparing and contrasting Howard Dean and General Wesley Clark and pointing out what smart Democrats are beginning to realize: we need to run the strrongest candidate possible to get Dubya and his looters out of office and Clark may well be that man.

Listen to the Clark Web-heads and you hear the longing for a winner.

"Whoever wins the Democratic primary had better be able to neutralize the defense argument quickly, or they're toast," wrote one correspondent. "This is why, before Clark, I felt that there was no way in hell that anyone could possibly beat Bush. . . . Only Clark can change the dynamic. Only Clark can change the conversation. Only Clark can change the direction."

"He is the man that can beat Bush," wrote another. "He can repeal Bush policies, help get the economy back on track, restore our political prestige and help make our country far safer."

Which is pretty much my view. Bush is defeatable by the right candidate, and an end to the Bush legacy is necessary for the survival of this country. The Republicans are already talking enthusiastically about running Jeb Bush in 2008, to keep the pork flowing. This dynasty bullshit has got to end now, and the Democrats have the responsibilty to pick the candidate most likely to put the Bushies away.

Speaking of Which...

It's my belief that it's time for a constitutional amendment to prevent dynastic succession in this country. Basically it should read something to the effect that any relation of a president up to a certain degree is prohibited from running. Sure, it's draconian. The alternative is for Dubya to declare himself Augustus and his not over-bright brother Jeb Tiberius.

Tired

Not feeling up to much today since our local college students spent the weekend drinking, screwing, and making noise until 4 a.m. Idea: double tuitions, quadruple the difficulty of courses, and quintuple taxes on alcohol. That would get rid of most of the whining poseurs really fast. Of course I'm all for bringing back the draft too - see above.

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