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Thursday, February 07, 2013

Liberals Are the New Bush Democrats
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

     One of the most hilarious aspects of the debate that's tearing the Left apart like a spin cycle would candy underwear is the subterranean war (completely ignored by the MSM, natch) that's brewing between so-called liberals and the real kind is the same anti-NRA people happen to be the very same ones who have no problem with unmanned drones that carry multiple warheads killing innocents abroad.
     How one person can square two diametrically opposing sides of what should be a black and white debate about the sanctity of all human life is a conundrum into which no rational-thinking person should try to delve for too long. The corporately-owned MSM, of course, as effectively and as invariably as it had in the age of SCUD missiles and Stinger missiles before that and napalm before that and the Bomb before that, have been championing the use of unmanned drones almost as if they have a financial stake in the matter (Oops, looks as if part of it does). And Republicans who'd ordinarily frantically cast about for a nerf bat or a wet noodle with which to hit the president are staying mum on this matter because, well, they love death and neverending war. They just won't give the black guy any credit for helping them further their Orwellian agenda.
     This byline isn't about them because the right wing and the mainstream media are completely worthless, incurably corrupt and counterproductive to the advancement of our species. Since they obviously have nothing substantive to add to the national and international debate about any subject under the sun, I feel I stand on firm ground when I say we can automatically dismiss whatever they have to say.
     This is, instead, about the widening fissure between liberals over the drone strike controversy that's hardly treated at all like a controversy by virtually all networks (save for Rachel Maddow, God bless her, who's been taking some hits from her own fan base for accurately reporting on them) from Fox on up. This is about self-identified, so-called liberals who should know better and, despite who they voted for last November, have to be considered Bush Democrats, this decade's answer to the Reagan Democrats of the 80's.
     If nothing else, the raging debate about the legality and morality of drones is effective in revealing who really understands the issues, who reveres all human life and who is not so scared for their personal and our national security to be blinded by fear from those who think drones are our friend because they protect national security and keep us from squandering American lives.
     We know that drones are used along the border in the American southwest and, because it helps keep out brown furr'ners out to take our jobs in hotel rooms, rich peoples' lawns and stables and taco stands, the rift began when certain "progressives" grew comfortable with them. Then, when the hostage situation was unfolding in Alabama last week and this week, we heard perhaps once or twice in the media about unmanned drones hovering overhead before it dropped into the memory hole. Once again, unmanned drones were circling over Alabama soil during a law enforcement operation and ABC was reporting this as if it was as common as pepper spray and K-9 police dogs.
     One not versed in Constitutional law (such as our president) would think this is a clearcut violation of posse comitatus and perhaps they'd be right in a dive bar argument were it not for three things: #1 Drones are largely a civilian weapon. Drone strikes and surveillance are authorized by the CIA which are in turn authorized by the president and a small, hermetic cabal of people. #2 Posse comitatus, even if it would still apply to CIA drones, would forbid such resources being used on American soil. Drones never touch down during the operational phase. And, #3, Posse comitatus, thanks to Bill Clinton and, you guessed it, Barack Obama, doesn't really exist, anymore.
     But the moral sliminess and undulating agility of those who are suddenly in favor of border security and drone strikes is much more reprehensible than that of conservatives who want government off our backs while cheering the regulation of women's vaginas when one realizes with a start that these are the same people who still proclaim themselves liberal and voted for Obama because he was a somewhat less scary alternative than Romney or McCain.
     And the mental gymnastics of the liberal elite is really quite an adorable thing to behold, especially when they defend drone strikes that kill hundreds of innocents worldwide, especially when one also realizes they sound suspiciously like the so-called liberal factions that cheered on the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the not-so-gradual Indian-giving of our Constitutional protections and civil liberties under the USA PATRIOT Act.

"But... but, American lives are more valuable!"
     One of the skeeviest arguments from the Left is that drones protect American interests such as national security without endangering American lives. This is the whole sniper-as-unsung-hero mentality that turned murdered ex SEAL Chris Kyle into a hero of the anti-NRA movement and a posthumous poster child for gun control, a role he no doubt would've laughed at. Kyle, the self-confessed killer of 150 people in the interests of national security, was murdered by a fellow war veteran on a gun range in Texas, which seemed to deepen the conviction of many in the "reality-based community" that if a "good guy" like Kyle, who made good money bragging about how many he'd killed, could effortlessly get waxed at a gun range in Texas of all places, well, then, no one is safe until we enact some stricter gun control measures.
     By the same token, the use of Predator drones, essentially snipers on tons of anabolic steroids, are to the Left a far more congenial, if far less accurate, way of getting rid of terrorists. But this argument has more holes in it than a Putin-era hostage.
     First, it assumes the fallacious argument that 1) we're actually killing nothing but terrorists, thereby securing national security, 2) the CIA actually has a right to violate national sovereignty such as Yemen's and Pakistan's and everywhere else our Sasquatch footprint lands, 3) if we're killing innocent civilians, that's an acceptable amount of collateral damage, especially since we don't have to hear the wailing from grieving relatives or see the vaporized bodies except, perhaps, in sanitized "reports" on CBS. And, 4) If you're not with us, you're against us and you forfeit your own constitutional protections even if the State Department doesn't officially revoke your citizenship.
     Secondly, and most despicably, the rationale that this puts fewer American lives in danger while we're putting innocent people to death seems to more than suggest that American lives are infinitely more valuable than that of brown villagers 7000 miles away. All that's missing from the so-called liberal argument is, "If the President does it, it's not illegal." (The White House's darkly comical 16 page white paper essentially said as much.)
     So let's unpack and deconstruct these morally contorted arguments one piece at a time:
     1) We haven't been attacked on American soil by Muslim terrorists since 9/11 and we were largely able to achieve this through military intervention using special forces, admittedly superb intelligence work amongst coordinating agencies and, most importantly, virtually without predator drones that were a relative rarity during the Bush administration. Plus, as one noted pundit opined a few years ago, perhaps al Qaeda hasn't attacked us not because Bush and Cheney kept us safe and free by suspending our civil liberties but simply because al Qaeda chose not to.
     2) Violating national sovereignty makes a mockery of both a sovereign nation and our avowed intention to liberate them from noxious entities and bad actors who would also violate their national sovereignty. Liberals had a problem with this regarding Iraq and Afghanistan but seemingly no problem with such violations when Navy SEALs dropped in to Pakistan to allegedly kill bin Laden and launching drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan and, yes, Afghanistan and all without even notifying their governments beforehand. Our endless history of military misadventurism would, one would think, teach us time and again that might does not always make right. In fact, it rarely if ever does.
     3) Once again, if we're killing innocent civilians, and then lying about it (.pdf file), it makes a mockery of another country's sovereignty and reduces lost human life to static numbers that can be massaged and negotiated ("No, we didn't murder six children, it was only three") or, God help us, be melted down into a single comma on their glorious road to freedom. Once again, so-called liberals have no problem with the trampling on of another nation's sovereignty since no one dares trample on ours. Except for our federal government.
     4) Liberals that used to be so concerned for the rule of law such as the US Constitution, the Geneva Conventions and UN Security Council Resolutions and their jeering of those who'd denigrated it now, a decade later, have no problem with the Obama administration murdering American citizens and their teenaged offspring abroad without due process. These same liberals who went into righteous conniptions with terrorism suspects being detained without charge, those same ones who complain bitterly (justly) about Bradley Manning's persecution and the suicide-by-persecution of Aaron Swartz suddenly are inured to the acrid moral aftertaste of their fellow Americans, al Qaeda operatives or no, being killed without a vetting process or any judicial review whatsoever.
     5) Heaven forbid we should legitimately put JSOC operators in harm's way when they entered the Special Forces after being told, and accepting, they'd be doing just that in defense of flag and country when we have drones to do the dirty work. These are the same liberals who just last week cheered the Pentagon clearing the way for women in combat roles behind enemy lines. And the, "American lives of Special Forces operators are more valuable than that of innocent villagers" smacks of the same jingoism that made the horrors of Iraq and Afghanistan and, before that, Vietnam, possible.

"We're Killing Others So We Don't Get Killed."
     This sudden and convenient abandonment of liberal conscience under the Obama administration is deeply disturbing because it charts the moral putrescence into which all too many liberals have fallen without simultaneously achieving even a wretched common ground with conservatives who still feel as if liberals are the greatest pox upon Mankind since the Bubonic Plague.
     As Pogo once famously said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." With the notable addendum that we are looking into a mirror but darkly.
     The plain facts are that if the Bush administration had begun using drones at the beginning instead of toward the end of its fabled stumbling Skid Row run, these same "liberals" would've been massing outside the White House by the hundreds of thousands screaming for Bush's pretzel-bruised head on a pike. If Bush had signed an executive order, and his Alberto Gonzales Justice Department had produced a white paper, authorizing the assassination of US citizens without the slightest shred of judicial review, you would've seen Cindy Sheehan and the Gold Star Mothers on TV more often than Peyton Manning.
     Instead, liberals and their blandly evil Dopplegangers who are more in the center and even to the right more than they'd like to admit are tearing each other apart on an issue that, until recently, we were all united. The droners, let's call them, are uncomfortably comfortable with the taking of innocent lives in the interests of national primacy and being able to do so with complete and utter impunity.
     Tell me if this sounds all too familiar. I won't stop but feel free to tell me, anyway.
     The same liberals who rightly said the wanton slaughter of innocent Iraqis and Afghanis resulted in their being recruited into al Qaeda and the Taliban are suddenly tone deaf to the exact same thing happening in Yemen, in which joining an al Qaeda that buys the loyalty of grieving families victimized by drone strikes is widely seen as the only way to oppose the United States. They're also conveniently using Muslim resentment at this Crusades v10.0 as an excuse to continue the drone strikes until the war on terror is, at last, won with honor.
     Some day, hopefully, when we look back on these casually bloodthirsty years, after Obama's disturbing cult of personality fades into as much obscurity as had Bush's, we'll wonder how we could've been led so easily astray with a 16 page white paper and by an unshakable belief in a man who led us even deeper into the shit-slimed rabbit hole as had his predecessor. We'll wonder, as we did after Bush left office, how we could've been so effortlessly bamboozled into cheering on drones personally deployed by a man who had as little problem curtailing our civil liberties as that self-same predecessor.
     And maybe, just maybe, the more erudite and conscientious of us will hit upon the answer by recalling those prophetic words of former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr when he warned us, "If you give government power, it uses it."
     However, if you limousine liberals still will not or cannot hit upon the provenance of this madness that had taken over so many of you from 2009 onward, then perhaps it's time you burned your Liberal cards. That shouldn't be too hard. Just pretend it's your parents' bra and draft cards so your apostasy won't hurt as much. Otherwise, kindly step aside. The real humanists have work to do.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Not to worry.

President Stein has everything under control.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
just finished reading Rachel Maddow's "Drift" ...along the same lines as this...

Anonymous CC said...
President Stein would have at least tried to stop the creeping authoritarianism that's dissolving the country. She would most likely have failed, but it's the attempt that counts.

President Obama has slowly abandoned most of the people.

Some folks prefer to be abandoned.