The Death Penalty For Porn Producers:The Final Frontier For Radfems??

OK….I know that it’s been a while, so I have some catching up to do…..I’ll just do as Blackamazon does so well and kinda wing it in a “whatever breezes through my mind at the moment” way.

I’ve been wanting to post on this story, because there are so many angles, both on the political and sexual fronts, that can be raised here.

Iran Approves Death Penalty for Pornogaphers
By: David Sullivan
*
TEHRAN -
Iran’s parliament has approved a bill that would sentence persons convicted of producing pornography to death.Lawmakers voted 148-5 with four abstentions that “producers of pornographic works and main elements in their production are considered corruptors of the world and could be sentenced to punishment as corruptors of the world.”

The “main elements in…production”*referenced in the bill include producers, directors, cameramen and actors. According to CNN, the term “corruptors of the world”*is derived from the Quran and carries a death penalty under Iran’s Islamic Penal Code.

Distributors and adult website operators could also face imprisonment and death. The bill encompasses all forms of sexually explicit media, including videos, DVDs and CDs. Pornographic books and magazines are already banned in Iran.

In order to become law, the bill must now be approved by Iran’s Guardian Council.

The bill follows in the wake of a scandal involving a pornographic video of Iranian actress Zahra Amir Ebrahimi that began circulating on the country’s black market last year. While Ebrahami has denied that she is the woman depicted in the video, she faces “fines, whip lashing or worse” for violating Iran’s morality laws. Ebrahimi’s male partner in the sex tape fled to Armenia but was later brought back to Iran, where he currently remains in jail.

The Associated Press notes that “porn material is easily accessible through foreign satellite television channels in Iran. Bootleg video tapes and CDs are also available on the black market on many street corners.”

[H/t to Ernest Greene at Nina Hartley's forum for posting that excerpt.]

This pisses me off for several reasons, and not just the obvious ones.

First off…there is the citing of the Quran’s statement of “corruptors of the world” in supporting the death penalty, which would apply not only to producers, but also distributors, website operators, and even the  actual performers. I mean, it’s known knowledge that Islamic societies are far more conservative and restictive when it comes to sexuality….but to go as far as to seek the freakin’ DEATH PENALTY for acts of private consensual sex??? I would think that that would run the risk of playing into the very scapegoat of “Islamofascism” that those who seek to topple that government would use to justify their actions.

And what would that say for those on the opposite side of the political equation: those on the political Left who have basically laid themselves down in defense of the ruling Iranian government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against those who favor toppling his rule?? I especially point to some American leftist women like Yoshie Furuhashi, who has been the most consistent defender of Ahmadinejad as an anti-interventionist and a revolutionary populist…..on occasion conviently glossing over the more reactionary social policies and gross anti-feminism that underlies his fundamentalism. She may be an extreme example of the boosting of fundamentalist Islam as populism and a acceptable alternative to “liberal interventionism”, but she is hardly alone.

Now, I happen to be a staunch anti-interventionist, and I will no more support invading Iran merely because the ruling government happens to be run by a bunch of misogynist thugs using religion to support their power trips, than I would have supported invading Iraq merely because Saddam was a butcher with a secret porn fetish. But….it does bother me more than a bit that so many Leftists are so willing to sacrifice even their own principles to defend “the enemies of our enemies”.

This isn’t to say that the fawning of “Cruise Missile Leftists” who exploit such issues as this to push for mass invasions are any better or worthy of my support, either; it’s just that perhaps we might be willing to acknowledge that merely opposing something without understanding clearly who we are standing with and standing for does make for some dangerous alliances that could easily wreck even the most careful  organized progressive movement.

The other angle in this that gets to me is something pointed out by Ernest Greene in his post at Nina’s forum; it is a standard theme of his regarding the unholy alliance between fundamentalists and radicalfeminists on the subjects of porn and sexuality:

Now while I’m sure they’d deny it loudly, anti-porn feminists undoubtedly take some glee in the notion of pornographers being executed. Anyone who has spent much time at The Den of the Biting Beaver or read Andrea Dworkin’s “novel” Mercy, which extolls the virtues of murdering male derelicts as a form of protest against the patriarchy has some idea of the depth of homicidal loathing these fanatics feel toward pornographers.However, in their delight at the prospect of smut-peddler’s heads being lopped off, they might have overlooked a significant detail from the story above, which is that the first target of the Iranian death-for-porn law just happens to be a woman.

Societies that suppress pornography most brutally are the very societies that suppress the rights of women most brutally as well. This is a lesson that any American feminist traveling in the Third World is all too likely to learn first hand. But then, since most of them prefer the comforts of Wheelock College, with its $36K per year tuition and, its tenured professorships for porn-bashing paranoids and its cozy conferences dedicated to denouncing the evils of sexual liberalism at which no opposing voices are allowed a hearing, they needn’t have their sleep troubled by such contradictions.

That last sentence is directed towards Dr. Gail Dines, one of the main antipornradicalfeminist activist voices.

Again, I recognize that not even all APRF’s will go as far as to support something as extreme as the death penalty for (male) porn producers or consumers; but it does seem for some of the more strident activists (*cough* SamHeart(less)GayleStormCloudBitingBeaverWitchyWoo*cough*) that if they are serious enough about their advocacy that porn consumption amounts to nothing less than the total abuse of women and the gateway to rape and rapicity, then why wouldn’t they carry their arguments to the logical conclusion?? Of course, they would have to sustain some deniability to seperate themselves from the Religious Right…but I wouldn’t think that that wouldn’t stop them from at least looking the other way at such a solution.

All this is a segue into the rumble currently going on at Feministe, where Roy originally posted how news of the Iranian proposed death penalty law (and an associated post by Trinity at The Strangest Alchemy) gave him a totally new perspective on things:

 I sat there at my desk, talking about sex workers and sex work and porn like they were abstractions… but they’re not, and mythago rightly called me on my shit. It took me a while to realize that, but it was a totally fair criticism. My sitting there saying that stats show this and stats show that and look how many sex workers were this or that… none of that helps them now, and talk like that does make me more likely to find myself allied with religious conservatives who have a “moral interest” in condemning sex work… and sex workers. And that’s the thing that mythago knew when posting that “Mackinnon and Dworkin made the silly assumption that their anti-feminist allies on the right would see their point of view, and apply protectionist ideas in a way that would help women instead of as a way to control women” and that trinityva was getting at when posting “often even “enlightened” people here who object to porn for the “right” reasons are willing to form alliances with those who oppose it for reasons of “religious morality”.”And when I allow myself to ally with questionable or even flat-out bad groups, I have to accept that the damage they do in the name of our cause is damage that I’m contributing to. I can’t wash my hands of the harm that my allies do if they’re doing the damage in the name of our mutual cause. If I’m rallying behind the cry of “PORN HARMS ALL WOMEN!” and I allow myself to get backing from a group that’s adding “BECAUSE DIRTY SLUTS ABUSE SEX!” then aren’t I at least somewhat culpable? Because, ultimately, don’t my actions help further that cause, as well? And doesn’t that mean that the damage they’re doing is to some extent, on my hands?

Because those people have made it absolutely clear that they don’t care about the women involved. They’re not working to help end the abuse of sex workers. They’re not condemning poor working conditions. They’re not working to help sex worker’s rights. They’re not even remotely interested in making sure that their voices get heard. They’re interested in keeping the whores out of their neighborhoods.

For the record, here’s what Trin posted:

Now this is Iran and not here. But I do want to post it, as I do think that it’s important to remember that in many parts of the world, including here, a lot of the objection to pornography IS a deep-seated fear of corruption or contamination. And a goodly bit of the opposition is religious. As a few kerfuffles I’ve posted about here have cast into relief, often even “enlightened” people here who object to porn for the “right” reasons are willing to form alliances with those who oppose it for reasons of “religious morality”.While this does have limited relevance to the US or even the UK, I think it helps to notice the strain of thinking that does look at porn this way. (It’s also worrisome to write this off, IMO, because we run the risk of doing that typical White US-ian “oh, we’re so much more EVOLVED than THOSE (brown) people!”)

We often like very much to hide behind veneers of theory. And to many of us: why shouldn’t we? We live in a wealthy country. Many of us are white, middle class, highly educated, comfortable. It’s very easy for us to think that we can dismantle an industry through “radical” means, at which point anyone formerly “enslaved by” it has a better life, presto change-o.

Too often our “radical” dreams can’t be achieved without nasty alliances. And too often we think of our “radical”ness and our “revolutionariness” and ignore what we deem collateral damage.

It didn’t work in the Iraq War. Why should it work in the Vice War either?

The subsequent thread went haywire when the usual suspects (read, Sam and gayle) decided to intervene with a defense of the “Swedish model” of controlling prostitiution, among other distractions…but that is a different story for another time.

But, it does go to show that in our efforts to dive in head first into any given controversy, we sometimes forget to understand exactly who we are diving with. The enemy of your enemy today could well turn out to become your enemy tomorrow…which is why it’s best to stick to principles as much as humanly possible.

As for me, I see no conflicts whatsoever between not supporting the ruling government of Iraq and simultaneously opposing a military invasion of that country by others.  In the end, the same rule of self-determination that defends individual sexual autonomy (whether it be for LGBT’s, feminists, or porn) applies just as much for whole countries resisting war and imperialism.  Ultimately, Iranians must decide what government they want, not the US….and certainly not by bombing them into submission. If you are that opposed to their sexual fascism as I am, then the better solution is to offer those women and men facing such repression a place of sanctuary until the laws are changed to reflect some decency and common sense.

As the old saying goes: An eye for an eye ultimately ends up blinding everyone.

Wingnuttery Plus Manifest Destiny = Whiskey? Tonto? Foxtrot???

The following is a classic result of what happens when you consume a little too much of the right-wing Kool-Aid.

The New York Sun, who obviously must see the New York Post as a bastion of evil liberalism in comparison, decided to bring forth an editorial on the “sellout” of Dimocrats in Iraq. (For them, though, the sellout is not in backing Dubya’s war, but in having the gall to criticize Dubya’s noble mission in the first place.)

And to that end, they envoke the earlier period of “Manifest Destiny”; the acquisition (or, as real honest historians would call it, the outright theft) of half of Mexico to justify the present campaign.

Nezua does such a good job of dissecting this pile of horse dung over at his place..but this deserves a special can of SmackDog Whupass(TM) on its own.  So, if you will pardon my indulgence, on with the fisking.

Iraq and Mexico

New York Sun Editorial
May 29, 2007

News that Senators Clinton and Obama, acting on the eve of Memorial Day weekend, cast their votes against funding our GIs in Iraq put us in a mind to read about Abraham Lincoln and the Mexican War. This had been suggested by Governor Cuomo, in his spirited letter to the editor in response to our editorial about how President Lincoln turned away the editor of Chicago Tribune, Joseph Medill, and a delegation that had gone to see him, late in the Civil War, in hopes of getting him to back off a draft call from Cook County.

Of course, we all know the reality of that vote (and how Hilary and Barack really maneuvered themselves to act like they were in opposition…but why let facts get in the way of a good McCarthyite smear??

Lincoln had listened to the Illinois pleaders in the cavern of maps that was the office of his war secretary, Edwin Stanton. As Stanton recited the sanguinary statistics that illuminated the need for yet more men for the battle, Lincoln bowed his head. Then he turned on Medill, long a supporter, reminded him of how the Tribune had supported the war and called for Emancipation and told him to go back to Chicago and get the men. Medill retreated, saying that it was the first time he’d ever been whipped and that he didn’t have an answer.

The better analogy, Mr. Cuomo argued in his letter to the Sun (http://www.nysun.com/article/54464) , is the war that President Polk started with Mexico. “As a Congressman in the late 1840s,” Mr. Cuomo wrote, Lincoln, “objected passionately to America‘s war with Mexico.” The former governor quotes the man who would become the 16th president as warning, on the floor of the House on January 12, 1848, of the “exceeding brightness of military glory that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood that serpent’s eye, that charms to destroy.”

The more we read about Lincoln and the Mexican War, however, the less it strikes us as offering a historical harbor for Democrats seeking to legitimize their appeasement line in Iraq. It is certainly true that Lincoln objected to the war, demanding that Polk show him the spot where the first firefight took place, Lincoln believing that it was not in America at all but in Mexican territory. Then a Whig congressman, Lincoln reckoned that the war would lead to an expansion of slave territories. Much of his term in the House was consumed to his opposition to the war.

OK…so tell me how giving the President a virtual blank check with timetables that he can basically ignore like so much chaffe in the wind amounts to legitimizing “appeasment”??  I guess that according to the Sun editorialist, only outright boosting for the war and unswerving allegiance to the President will count as anything other than “surrender”.

But what does this illuminate that could possibly help the Democrats in their current predicament? In contrast to Lincoln, Mrs. Clinton did not object to our entry into either the global war on terror or the battle of Iraq. On the contrary, she voted for it. Mr. Obama, who was not yet in the Senate, opposed Iraq expedition. In any event, there is another difference; once our military was engaged in battle in Mexico, Lincoln always voted to supply our soldiers, a point underlined for us by one of the city’s notable Lincoln scholars, Harold Holzer, co-author of part of Mr. Cuomo’s ” Why Lincoln Matters, Now More Than Ever.”

Lincoln’s support for our soldiers in the Mexican war is something that the Illinoisan boasted about in his debates with Judge Douglas. After all, his opposition to the war with Mexico, however high-minded, was costing him votes. This was particularly true because, even if Polk’s motives were ignoble and the fight seemed unjust at the beginning, the Mexican war had a favorable outcome for America. The Mexican Cession, made under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the war on February 2, 1848, established our border at the Rio Grande, ended any dispute over Texas, and gained us not only California, Nevada, and Utah but also parts of Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

Translation: Hey, who cares about moral considerations….WE WON!! And who cares about principles if it costs us votes??

But here’s where the cesspool really meets the Cat 3 hurricane (and this is exactly the money paragraph that Nez grabs):

Can it be that Mr. Cuomo and his fellow Democrats want to go into the 2008 election questioning the bona fides of the states of Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico? That’s a lot of electoral votes. The fact is the fate of those states illustrates one of the great truths about America — that those who either threw in with us or were won by us prospered and lived more freely than any of them would have under the ancien regimes. This is something that has been learned by other peoples, in Europe and in Asia, even into the late 20th century.

Oh, yeah….like the brown folk down there really do appreciate everything that the gringos have done to “liberate” them..just as the Iraqis really do, despite popular protests to the contrary, appreciate all the freedom that “we” have brought to them through the democratic means of torture chambers, carpet bombs, and pilfering their assests. Why, there really are flowers underneath those suicide bombs.

I wonder what these asshats would say about Black folks benefitting from slavery and Jim Crow. Or…maybe I shouldn’t.

 

***

As for Lincoln, his comprehension of the responsibilities of leadership changed radically when he acceded as president. He prosecuted the Civil War relentlessly, and his generals knew who was in command or suffered the consequences. Lincoln’s officers arrested the most troublesome of the Copperhead Democrats. In the case of Clement Vallandigham, who was discouraging enlistees in Ohio, Lincoln himself sent that particular Copperhead down through Confederate lines and into exile. Lincoln tested the Constitution as it had never been tested before. He fought his war to win.

 

Now…not that I as a Black man don’t appreciate the fact that the North won the Civil War and slavery was vanquished…but what the hell does that have to do with Iraq??  That because Honest Abe was the Commander-In-Chief who did manage to run the war and outgun his critics, that justifies his running roughshod over the Constitution??  And how does that justifies Dubya’s war games during a war in which 3/4ths of Americans do not support, that the supposed “benefactors” of such war (read, the citizens of Iraq) do not support, and was justified on base lies about Saddam’s invisible WMD and ties to al Queda and September 11th???

Oh, but I didn’t know…to the editorialists of the NY Sun, Saddam was in cahoots with bin Laden making nukes with Iran’s mullahs with the full connivance of those “cut-n-run” Democrat appeasers….which more than justifies making Dubya our supreme Emperor and protector against Islamofascists, illegal aliens, and evil socialists/liberals/radical feminists/whatever the particular right-wing panic button is.

It’s hard to imagine what Lincoln would have made of Mrs. Clinton, who started out in Illinois, when she claims to “fully support our troops” but votes against funding for the war in which they are risking everything. Or what he would have made of another Illinoisan, Mr. Obama, when he declares, as he did last week, that “enough is enough” and that the president should not get a “blank check,” or even, at least on these terms, any check. The more one reads about it, the more one gets the sense that Lincoln might have wondered why Mr. Bush has been so punctilious about the legal niceties. It’s hard to imagine Lincoln would not have understood Mr. Bush on the larger issues, particuarly his understanding of, and his willingness to shoulder, the responsibilities of the president in a time of war.

 

 

How nice that these editorialists have such wonderous powers of mindreading, that they can extrapolate the motives of a President who passed from this earthly coil nearly 150 years ago, and read him exactly to fit the mindset of our current occupant of the White House…and be so perfect to say that Lincoln would be smiling at Bush today, cheering him on to do more shredding of the “goddam piece of paper” that the former took to heart to defend the unity of the nation against the Confederates.

Ahhh…the mind of a right-wing wingnut….so simple in its complexity, so brutal in its subtlety….and so genocidal and arrogant in its equnamity.

 

 

The (Darrell) Gates Doctrine: Alive And Busting Heads In LA

Times may change, and the target of the LAPD’s police thuggery may change (from prostitutes to Black men to Latinos protesting)…but the basic principle remains the same: No Humans Involved.

Witness the latest round of the Gangstas in Blue busting "non-lethal" violence upon peaceful protesters at a May Day immigrants’ rights rally in LA (as videographed by the local LA FOX affiliate (via YouTube):

  

And not even the media was exempted this time: this loop shows a Invision cameraman being attacked and his camera taken away from him:

The right to peaceful assembly??  To express your grievances with government?? To defend your right to exist as a human being?? Yeah, right….not if you are targeted as an "illegal alien"…or a "gangsta"….or a "whore"…or if you simply aren’t rich or White enough to buy your justice.

Oh…but current chief William Bratton now says that "some" of his cops’ actions were "inappropriate".  Eeee-yah. Like Rodney King’s ass whooping was innapropriate after…what, the 23rd bash with the nightstick??

Of course, the usual right-wing noise machine will defend this police riot as very much appropriate against the dire threat of "Mexifornia" and "Atzlan"….but what of the rest of you??

Justice….or more like "just us"???

I could say more..but Nezua, BfP, Sylvia, and a few others have documented this travesty far better than I could…so here’s the appropriate linkage:

The Unapologetic Mexican (Nezua):
          The Right of Peaceful Assembly. Gone.
          The True Face of Progressivism 
          ALLIES Is One Letter Away From ALIENS 

Women of Color Blog (Brownfemipower):
          We Are All Criminals
          LAPD Is Not Racist; It’s Not Hyper-Aggressive.  It’s Really Not 
          State Brutality Is Not An Anomaly
          MacArthur Park Brutality

The Anti-Essentialist Conondrum (Sylvia):
          Watch and Read

Para Justicia y Libertad!! (XicanoPwr):
         May Day Violence at Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park

Migra Matters:
         Riot Police Use Rubber Bullets to Disperse Immigrant Marchers 

Guerillas In The Matrix:
         Police Violence at LA Immigration March

C*ntensquirten (R. Mildred):
        LAPD Fire On Young And Old Alike (Again)

LA Indymedia (extensive coverage):
      Police Terror In The Park (includes extensive links to various views of the brutality)
      Greens Condemn Brazen Brutality of LAPD
      May Day, 2007: A Report To Correct The Balance
      Police Attack Peaceful May Day Rally
      Cops Terrorize May Day Protestors
      AJLPP Condemns Police Brutality Against Immigrants

More links as they become available….

Time For A Little Catch-Up: COPA Struck Again; Dems Flash Cut-n-Run Asses…Again

First some good news on the sex war front:

Judge strikes down ’98 law aimed at online porn

Associated Press
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:03/22/2007 06:35:49 AM PDT

PHILADELPHIA – A 1998 law designed to keep pornography away from children on the Internet infringes on free-speech rights and is easily sidestepped, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

The judge blocked enforcement of the Child Online Protection Act, Congress’ second attempt to protect children from online porn.

The law, which has never been enforced, is unconstitutionally vague and fails to address current concerns about online predators, social networking sites and chat rooms, Senior U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed Jr. wrote.

"Even defendant’s own study shows that all but the worst performing (software) filters are far more effective than COPA would be at protecting children from sexually explicit material on the Web," said Reed, who presided over a monthlong trial in the fall.

The law would criminalize Web sites that allow children to access material deemed "harmful to minors" by "contemporary community standards." The sites would be expected to require a credit card number or other proof of age. Penalties include a $50,000 fine and up to six months in prison.

Sexual health sites, Salon.com and other Web publishers backed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law on grounds it would have a chilling effect on speech. Reed agreed it would.

"Perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection," he wrote.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a temporary injunction in 2004 on grounds the law was likely to be struck down and was perhaps outdated.

Daniel Weiss of Focus on the Family Action, a lobbying arm of the conservative Christian group, said it would continue to press Congress for a workable law.

"The judge seems to indicate there’s really no way for Congress to pass a good law to protect kids online. I just think that’s not a good response," Weiss said.

To defend the nine-year-old law, government lawyers attacked software filters as burdensome and less effective, even though they have previously defended their use in public schools and libraries.

The plaintiffs expect the Justice Department to appeal. Justice spokesman Charles Miller did not immediately return a phone message Thursday.

"I would hope that Attorney General Gonzalez would save the U.S. public’s money and not try to further defend what is an unconstitutional statute," said lawyer John Morris of the Center for Democracy and Technology, which wrote a brief in the case.

"That money could better be used to help educate kids about Internet safety issues," he said.

The plaintiffs argued that filters work best because they let parents set limits based on their own values and a child’s age.

Reed concluded that filters have become highly effective and that the government – if it wants to protect children – could do more to promote or subsidize them.

The law addresses material accessed by children under 17, but only applies to content hosted in the United States.

The Web sites that challenged the law said fear of prosecution might lead them to shut down or move their operations offshore, beyond the reach of the U.S. law. They also said the Justice Department could do more to enforce obscenity laws already on the books.

Judge Reed noted in his 83-page ruling that, since 2000, the Justice Department has initiated fewer than 20 prosecutions for obscenity that did not also involve other charges such as child pornography or attempts to have sex with minors.

While the government argued for the use of credit cards as a screening device, Reed concluded from the evidence that there is currently no accurate way to verify the age of Internet users. And he agreed that sites that require a credit-card to view certain pages would see a sharp drop-off in users.

The 1998 law followed the Communications Decency Act of 1996, Congress’ first attempt to regulate online pornography. The Supreme Court in 1997 deemed key portions of that law unconstitutional because it was too vague and trampled on adults’ rights.

COPA narrowed the restrictions to commercial Web sites and defined indecency more specifically.

"This is the second time Congress has tried this, and both times the courts have struck it down. I don’t see how Congress could write a constitutional statute," the ACLU’s Chris Hansen, a lead attorney on the case, said.

In 2000, Congress passed a law requiring schools and libraries to use software filters if they receive certain federal funds. The high court upheld that law in 2003.

Joan Walsh, Salon.com’s editor-in-chief, said she was deposed at about the same time the magazine was deciding to publish photos of naked prisoners at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

"This law would have let any one of 93 U.S. attorneys … (say) our Abu Ghraib photos were harmful to minors, and the burden would have been on us to prove that they weren’t," Walsh said.

Somewhere, on this earth tonight, Barbara Nitke is celebrating….but I’ll hold my breath until Abu Gonzales loses the expected appeals to the higher courts.

Not so good news, though, is the final resolution of the Great Democratic Party Cave-In on funding the war in Iraq and any future adventures in Iran..and as before, Richard of American Leftist has the story:

The supplemental funding bill has cleared the House with exactly the number of votes required for passage:

The House of Representatives voted today, by the narrowest possible margin and after an unusually emotional debate, to set a timetable for bringing American troops home from Iraq.

The bill received 218 votes in favor, the minimum needed for passage in the 435-seat chamber. There were 212 votes opposed. The Democratic leadership held the voting open for two additional minutes past the originally scheduled 15 to lock up the majority. Vote-counters had predicted beforehand that the outcome would be very close.

 

Of course, the timetables are not binding upon the President, as he now has the funds to continue to do as he wishes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, even, when the mood strikes, Iran, assuming, of course, that they survive the Senate, which is doubtful.

Who made this victory for the proponents of perpetual war in the Middle East possible? It’s shocking, and should never be forgotten:

With Democrats holding 233 seats and Republicans with 201, Democrats were able to afford only 15 "no" votes. Accordingly, Pelosi, and her leadership team spent days trying to convince members that the bill was Congress’ best chance of forcing Bush to change course—an argument that was aided when they added more than $20 billion in domestic spending in an effort to lure votes.

They got a breakthrough Thursday when four of the bill’s most consistent critics said they would not stand in its way. California Democrats Lynn Woolsey, Diane Watson, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters said they would help round up support for the bill despite their intention to personally vote against it because it would not end the war immediately. "Despite my steadfast opposition, I have told the speaker that I will work with her to obtain the needed votes to pass the supplemental, but that in the end I must vote my conscience," said Rep. Diane Watson, D- Calif.

 

Is there any need to comment upon such self-serving personal and political expendiency? No doubt all four forcefully went about the task of persuading others to vote for the bill, because, if they failed, they would have then faced the prospect of drawing straws to determine who would be required to vote against their conscience for Pelosi. Rarely has there been such a compelling example of the much maligned situational ethics associated with some Californians.

Woolsey, Watson, Lee and Waters, the Gang of Four that rescued funding for the President’s wars in the Middle East, while keeping their own voting records scrupulously clean. The Iraqis and the Afghans will have to liberate themselves, as there is no prospect that the American political system will relinquish its grip upon their countries. A revolt within the US military is possible, probably more so as a consequence of this vote, but remote.

War with Iran is now a near certainty, as it provides an escape route for those who voted for this measure as well as those who only worked for its passage. Defeat of the bill was not only essential for the ongoing vitality of the antiwar movement in this country, as discussed here yesterday, but to also impair the ability of the President to expand the war. The Iranians, like the Iraqis and the Afghans, have been left to their own devices. We will have nothing to say about the decisions they make as to how to best defend themselves. No doubt the Gang of Four will express appropriate sentiments of sadness as violence in the Middle East intensifies as a consequence of their actions.

Naturally, much of the A-list liberal blogosphere has a slightly different view of the supplemental bill’s passage. Raw Story headlined their article of the bill’s passage "House Passes Iraq Pullout Bill" (conveniently ignoring that the "timetables" set were entirely voluntary and negotiable based on the word of Dubya…who has renewed his threat to veto the bill anyway as another "liberal cut-and-run" measure); and Chris Bowers of MyDD was waxing enthusiastic about the great victory of "progressives" (despite the shameful political ball-squeezing and heavy-handed tactics used by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to jerk those progressives wanting a more solid bill for pullout into line).

Problem is, this bill probably won’t even get to Dubya’s desk in its current form anyway for the veto, because the Senate (49 Republicans and Joe Lieberman) will more than likely gut even those weak "timetables" and force the Dems to accept a "clean" bill fully supporting and enabling Dubya’s war games….and I won’t even get into the atrocious surrender to the right-wing Israeli lobbyists in not including wordage seeking Congressional approval for any invasion of Iran..basically giving a green light to any such action. 

So much for progressive principles within the Democratic Party.  I guess that not even Maxine Waters or Barbara Lee can avoid the ultimate folly of attempting to reform a centrist (and rapidly rightward-tacking) party from within. The money and the power of the corporate warmongers are simply too great.

The only way for true "progressives" and legitimate Leftists to really change the Democratic Party is to get the fuck out and form a REAL Left independent party…or better yet, a real movement.  Cold-War liberalism just won’t cut it anymore.

 

“Abu-Attorneygate”: The Obscenity Angle (Instant Linkage)

Later on when I’m back from work, I’ll riff further on this…but for now, please feel free to use the following linkage for background:

Max Blumenthal (The Nation): The Porn Plot Against Prosecutors (A nice and juicy investigative story about one angle of Abu Gonzales’ attempted purge of US Attorneys for insufficient loyalty to right-wingnut activism….ahhh, I mean, not being "loyal Bushies": the plot against two attorneys for not going far enough to prosecute certain porn)

Matt Kernes (Adult Video News Online): Attorney Says Justice Department Sold Same ‘Obscene’ Material As His Client: A bit of further detail into the firing of one particular attorney, along with details on the particular case (caution, link is OK, but may further link to NSFW material)

Not that the other angles (protecting AbuG’s snooping on American citizens; covering the ass of Repub crooks like Abramoff and Cunningham and DeLay; trumping up charges of Democratic "voting fraud") aren’t as important….but you know kow people tend to react more to sex scandals, ehhh???

As I said..more on this later.

 

MoveOn.Org: The Liberal Wing of the DLC?!?!?!

Funny how "moderate" Democrats tend to act like….you know, "moderate" Democrats when faced with genuine Left opposition.  It’s not so funny, though, when putatively "liberal" groups start triangulating.

Richard over at American Leftist has a series of posts about the mendacity of the group MoveOn.org when it comes to attempting to neuter opposition to the dead-center politics of "mainstream" Democrats…especially on the issue of the Iraq War. It seems that the "centrists"  — led by Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel, the head of the House Democratic Caucus  – are attempting to nuke more liberal and substansial legislation to cut funding and force withdrawal of troops from Iraq, as well as prevent substansial opposition to any prospective invasion of Iran. To that end, Emanuel has been using both his power of the purse to threaten more liberal members with loss of funding for pet funding projects in their districts….and the pressure tactics have generally succeeded in intimidating most Democrats into submission…but with some notable and courageous exceptions (original citation from politico.com; emphasis added by Richard):

The most outspoken critics of the $124 billion wartime spending bill in the House are facing withering support in their fight to defeat it.

California Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters and Lynn Woolsey said that many of their liberal colleagues were caving under pressure from Democratic leaders who, according to at least one congressman, have threatened to block requests for new funds for his district.

They also cited MoveOn.org’s endorsement of the measure Monday as a blow to their efforts.

"For people who are undecided and looking for a reason to vote for the supplemental, MoveOn is going to make a difference, providing instant cover for these members," Woolsey said.

"In six months, I fear they will be really sorry because the president isn’t going to do what they want," she added, referring to waivers in the bill that allow the president to circumvent certain requirements.

"The supplemental" is a reference to a massive supplemental spending bill that is now being debated in Congress which includes, among other things, continued funding for the war in Iraq at the present levels, and would allow Dubya "flexibility" (read, a blank check) to circumvent rules and requirements and benchmarks. Most of the antiwar liberals wanted originally wanted to use the supplemental to cut off funding and place restrictions ultimately leading to a withdrawal of troops….but that grates in the side of "centrists" like Emanuel who really aren’t so opposed to the war in Iraq and invading Iran as they envy Dubya’s management of the war (and the largesse).

Where does MoveOn,org get into this:  Well, read on:

"MoveOn put out a dishonest poll that did not offer its members a real choice to end the war, and now the peace movement is lobbying activists to reform MoveOn or drop off its list," David Swanson, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, said in an e-mail to The Politico. "I unsubscribed from MoveOn this morning."

In the poll, MoveOn.org gave its members a choice of supporting, opposing or being "not sure" of the plan proposed by the Democratic leadership, according to an e-mail sent to members Sunday by MoveOn.org official Eli Pariser.

It did not mention a more aggressive withdrawal proposal backed by Woolsey, Waters and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).

Pariser said MoveOn.org had held out as long as possible before backing the leadership proposal.

"We were basically declining to take a position as long as we could to strengthen the hand of the progressives. We did the poll at the last time we felt we could have an impact on the final vote."

He said he would support the progressive proposal if it came to a vote. "We’ll encourage people to vote for that and for the supplemental," he said. "We are trying to end the war. That’s the mandate."

Yeah, right…."end the war" by supporting a bill that allows the President to ignore its key restrictions, and keep the money flowing.

Of course, the bill will still probably be vetoed by Bush and attacked by Repubs as "typical liberal cut-and-run"…but, you know, we just gotta win back those good old "swing voters" and NASCAR dads who might be swayed by Karl Rove’s attack ads, do we?? And how in the hell does undercutting Waters and Lee (who, last time I saw opinion polls, represented the view of the overwhelming majority of public opinion) "strengthen progressives"….by feeding them to the lions???

Richard says all that is needed to say about this, so I’ll just quote him verbatum:

First things first: Eli Pariser, go fuck yourself.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s acknowledge the enormity of what the House Democrats are about to do. They are going to give Bush a blank check to continue the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, with cosmetic timetables for withdrawal designed to deceive the public into believing that they oppose Bush’s policy. They have provided funding for military operations that can be expanded into an attack upon Iran, as they stripped the bill of language that would have required congressional approval.

In effect, as noted here last week and recognized by Pat Buchanan today, they have green lighted such an attack by adopting a Zionist exemption to the requirement that Congress declare war. In the post-9/11 world, the passage of this bill exposes bipartisan support for overt military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and, probably, Iran, with covert operations in Lebanon and Palestine. In short, US war from the beaches of Beirut to the border of Pakistan (and, possibly, even beyond, into the tribal regions of Pakistan itself).

[...quotes from military generals who oppose escalation snipped, see the original article...]

But people like Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, Eli Pariser, and others in the leadership of MoveON.org, such as Joan Blades, could care less. Self-assured in the belief that they will not personally experience the consequences, they reduce the death and destruction associated with these current and probable future conflicts to political opportunism. Death, torture, brain injuries, loss of limbs, sexual assault, post-traumatic stress, that’s for Iraqis, Afghans and enlistees in the Marines, the Army and the Guard, while they fantasize about exploiting the victimization of others for electoral success and the joys of patronage.

As for MoveON.org itself, perhaps it is time to consider public confrontation and humiliation. The next time we learn of a purported MoveON.org antiwar event, like a vigil, or other such cynical nonsense, we might want to stop by and tell the participants, politely, of course, that we know that they, and the organization that they have affiliated themselves with, are the worst sort of hypocrites, professing a morality that conceals the most crass self-interest.

Public confrontation and humiliation…..and, perhaps, a REAL Left independent political party which isn’t controlled by corporate war profiteers or right-wing Likud Lobby fascists or "centrist" shysters.

In an earlier post, Richard channels an essay from CounterPunch depictiing the ill tactics of MoveOn to further rip them an new orfice (my apologies for the full quotation, but the entire quote is worth viewing):

For the introductory post on this subject, go here, just down below. Now, here’s more, from Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber over at Counterpunch:

On Sunday, MoveOn distributed a survey asking its members to vote on three options: support the Pelosi bill [the supplemental]; oppose it; or "not sure." MoveOn’s Eli Pariser described the survey in an email as an opportunity for members to participate in "a big decision coming up this week. … MoveOn is a member-directed organization – we believe that all of us, together, are smarter than any one of us." In fact, however, MoveOn’s survey was designed to conceal from its members the option of supporting the stronger anti-war amendment put forth by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  [The Lee/Waters amendments]

There are, of course, other ways of running a survey. When TrueMajority.org recently surveyed its members about the best way forward, they offered three choices: the Lee plan, the Pelosi plan, and the option of demanding that Congress reject any further war funding, period. Only 24 percent of TrueMajority’s members supported the Pelosi plan – which appears to be the reason why MoveOn’s survey gave their members no choice but the Pelosi plan.

Even MoveOn’s rules for the war’s fourth-anniversary candlelight vigils expressly exclude anything specifically aimed at ending it. "There are many ways to commemorate the war anniversary – but MoveOn and other coalition members are coming together around solemn candlelight vigils," explains their website. "Events other than vigils that honor the sacrifice of our servicemen and women and their families will not be publicly posted here."

The fascinating aspect of this kind of message board control and survey manipulation, which, by the way, is nothing new, is the extent to which it creates the illusion that MoveON.org is an organization that makes decisions according to a process of grassroots consensus.

In fact, MoveON.org, to cite Noam Chomsky, manufactures consent within the boundaries established by Pariser, Joan Blades and their allies within the Democratic Party. It is the political equivalent of an astroturf group, a fake grassroots organization created by a corporate lobbyist or public relations firm to create the impression that the agenda of their client has broad based public support. One wonders the extent to MoveON.org has engaged in similar survey practices on issues such as health care (has MoveON.org surveyed its members about the suitability of a single payer system?) and media consolidation to align its grassroots base with the carefully calibrated policy decisions of the Democrats.

It is especially ironic, because liberals, as a means of concealing their inability to participate in any movement that supports the Palestinians, consistently reviles ANSWER for being a hierarchical organization that makes decisions and imposes them upon participants according to a vanguardist Marxist-Leninist model. Or, to put it more bluntly, ANSWER is Stalinist.

Yet, with MoveON.org, Pariser, Blades and the Democrats have implemented a Marxist-Leninist approach to political organization that has been far more effective than ANSWER could ever imagine. MoveON.org is basically the liberal wing of the Democratic Leadership Council, making sure that liberals, if they were so inclined, do not wander too far away from the pro-war, pro-business platform of the party. Just remember, when the attack upon Iran happens, MoveON.org played an important role in manufacturing liberal consent to finance it.

Actually, that would be kinda unfair to most Marxist-Leninsts…at least they oppose the war on fundamental principle.

Ahhh, the wonders of "lesser evil" politics….

The Wingnut Abyss Revealed: TownPrivvy “Defends” ‘Da Coultergeist

WOW…just when you think that the loony Right couldn’t sink any lower, you find this attempt at "humor" in defending Ann Coulter’s "faggot" smack against John Edwards over at Townhall.com. I will not give them the privilege of linkage, but will rather post the entire article here, just to share the love.

How to bomb a gay bath house

By Mike S. Adams
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I’ve been thinking about Ann Coulter a lot lately – a real shocker, I know – and I think I’ve finally found a way to get her out of the hot water she’s in over her recent outing of John Edwards. Before I reveal just what she ought to do, I have an obligation to tell her what not to do – especially since she’s getting such bad advice from other conservatives.

The first thing Ann should not do is heed calls that she apologize for using the term “faggot.” The last time I heard that word, I was helping move a friend into his new house in downtown Wilmington. The next door neighbor, who happened to be gay, had us over to grab something to eat and drink.

When someone asked our host the name of the style he used to decorate the living room, his reply was “Early 20th Century Colonial Faggot.” He made the joke partially because he had a few too many drinks before his guests arrived. But he also did it because many homosexuals have never really aspired to the goal of making everyone feel as comfortable as they feel they have a right to feel at all times.

A friend of mine – one who “came out of the closet” over a decade ago – often used the term “faggot” when he was angry at someone. He used the term long after he decided he was gay. But it never occurred to anyone within earshot that a word banning ritual or forced apology was in order.

Put simply, it is permissible for heterosexuals to use the term “faggot” because so many homosexuals use it all the time. The only rebuttal I’ve heard is that the same cannot be said with regard to the use of the “n-word.” This is an unspeakable insult to black people. Gay persecution does not rival black persecution in the annals (I could not find a better word to insert here) of American history. Any assertion to the contrary is simply too queer to take seriously.

Speaking of the term “queer,” Ann should realize that the term “faggot” will soon be deemed acceptable for everyone’s use in the eyes of the diversity movement. Recall that the term “queer” was once acceptable in America – certainly you remember playing “smear the queer” in grade school. After years of banning the term, the Diversity Offices are now establishing “Queer Resource Centers” on college campuses. And they let you call them that even if you aren’t a queer.

Before long, the executives of Diversity Incorporated – the people who really run this country – will again let us use the term “faggot.” The switch will be necessary because a) Diversity Incorporated makes all of its money on diversity training classes (read: shakedown seminars) in corporate America, and b) these classes are nothing more than a recitation of currently banned words and ideas. (Hence the need to constantly update the list even if it means regressing and calling it “progress”.)

Perhaps the most compelling reason for Ann to refrain from issuing an apology is that it might send the message that homosexuality is somehow “wrong.” Those saying that the implication that Edwards is a homosexual is “defamatory” are suggesting that homosexuality is “bad.” This flies in the face of the teachings of the official religion of the Diversity Movement, which is, of course, moral relativism.

Every time I get into a discussion about homosexuality I am accused of being “secretly gay.” When the accuser is strait, he shows how much he secretly hates homosexuals. When the accuser is gay, he shows how much he secretly hates himself. Ann should not mimic this hatred by apologizing for something Leftists do regularly and unapologetically.

But enough about what Ann ought not to do. Here’s what she should do immediately:

1. Start a website called “Global War on Fags” today.

2. Begin writing essays calling for the cleansing and purification of society via the mass murder of homosexuals.

3. Distribute videos on the website showing the actual murders of homosexuals.

4. Circulate instructions on how to bomb gay bath houses in San Francisco.

5. Circulate a “battle dispatch” to give people specific information on America’s most notorious bath houses.

6. Apply for a job at Kent State University.

At first, the cries for Ann Coulter’s imprisonment will be loud. But once Kent State gets wind of the story (and possession of her job application) a happy ending will soon be in sight (not incite). In fact, I predict that Ann will soon be a professor at Kent State University with good retirement benefits, a health plan, and tenure.

The current Coulter controversy provides more than a good job opportunity for Ann Coulter. It gives Kent State a chance to show its dedication to the First Amendment, not just Muslim extremism.

Oh, so much asshattery in one righteous pile of dung…when I get back from work, I’ll give this fool a proper beatdown.  Suffice it to say for now, though, that comparing the victims of the 1971 Kent State massacre (peaceful protestors who were actually protesting a war) with KKK/Neo-Nazi antigay haters bombing gay bathhouses is, to say the least, a bit of a stretch…like Shaq or Kareem or MJ attempting to throw down a monster dunk on a 50′ rim….even with the assistance of Looney Tunes magic animation tricks. Besides, what can al Qaeda do that Operation Rescue and the Christian Identity/Militia folks (like Tim McVeigh) haven’t already done??

As I said…more later when I get back.

 

The Fine Art of Propaganda: FUX Snooze Distorts “Indonesia Playboy” Conviction

Ahhhh, the fine art of right-wing propaganda…..sometimes they try to pound you with the hammer; other times they try a more subtle approach. This next story is probably more of the latter.

Everyone knows about the right-wing distortion box also know as the FOX News Channel (or, as my cyberfriend ‘Bina Becker so obtusely calls them, "FUX Snooze"), and their continuous attempt to lay it out for all things right(-wing) and proper(ly reactionary) and American (especially the native, rich, White kind…non-wingnutters need not apply).You also know how much they really love to hate Muslims….not just the more extreme fundamentalists who bomb American buildings, but all Muslims who supposedly are so jealous and hateful of  "our way of life".  Most of this is in the more direct form of the proficient pontificating of FOX’s main hitmen (Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Tony Snow (just before he moved his propaganda agency over to the White House and became Dubya’s press secretary), Brit Hume, and John Gibson, among others); but sometimes it shows up in even the most conspicious places.

For example: dig this recent story about all the brohaha over an obscenity conviction in Indonesia that was posted to the FOXNews.com website:

Playboy Editor in Indonesia Found Guilty; Protesters Call for Death Sentence

JAKARTA, Indonesia — 

The editor of Playboy magazine in Indonesia was found guilty and faces a two-year jail term for violating moral norms by publishing pornographic images and stories, while protesters called for him to be hanged.

 

More than 150 members of the Indonesian People Forum said Erwin Arnada should die for his crimes, chanting "hang him, hang him," according to a Reuters report.

"He was found guilty for violating moral norm that spark people unrest," Prosecutor Resni Muchtar said during a hearing in South Jakarta District Court Tuesday, the Post reported. He said the maximum punishment was two years and eight months.

Arnada manned the magazine, famous around the world for publishing racy shots of scantily clad, if clad at all, women.

The Indonesian edition of the magazine, however, did not feature nudity and was not as risque as other magazines on sale in Indonesia.

The magazine’s first edition sparked protests in Indonesia last April although it had no nudity and less flesh visible in the issue than many other magazines on sale in the world’s most populous Muslim country.

Indonesia, BTW, is 90% Muslim in its population…a fact that probably didn’t escape the copy editor which posted this story, I figure.

Sounds like an open and cut case of baiting Muslims for their extremism in erotica, right?? I mean, you do know that no Christian in this country would EVER even think of going so far as to prosecute and convict people for publishing scantily-clad women in bikinis??  Or even nude photos, right??

Ahhh…but you miss the rest of the story. The above article hinted to a Reuters report that quoted the "150 protestors" calling for Mr. Amada to be hung for "inciting lust"..but somehow forgot to add a link to that article. (Reuters must be one of them baaaaad "far-left loony outfits", I guess.) But fear not, Clones; I went to my trusty Google Search and managed to find the original article they wrote…and needless to say, it strikes a bit different tone:

Two-year jail sought for Playboy Indonesia editor

Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:52 AM ET

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Prosecutors on Tuesday demanded a Jakarta court punish the editor of Playboy Indonesia with a two-year jail term for distributing indecent pictures to the public and making money from them.

The magazine’s first edition sparked protests in Indonesia last April although it had no nudity and less flesh visible in the issue than many other magazines on sale in the world’s most populous Muslim country.

Editor-in-chief Erwin Arnada has argued Playboy Indonesia was good for developing a pluralistic society in the country, but the prosecution and Islamic hardliners who have regularly attended his trial since late last year said he had "harmed the nation’s morals".

"The pictures selected by the defendant were improper for publication because they violated decency and aroused lust," prosecutor Resni Muchtar told the South Jakarta court.

More than 100 Muslim protesters in the courtroom criticized the prosecution for being soft, shouting "Hang him, Hang him".

Radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who spent time in jail for the deadly 2002 Bali bombings before being acquitted by the Supreme Court, also attended the trial.

"The prosecution’s demand does not match the damage that Playboy has inflicted. We want the judges to give the defendant a heavier sentence," he told reporters.

Under Indonesian laws, sentencing demands from the prosecution serve as strong advice to judges who can hand down harsher sentences or dismiss the case altogether.

[...] [Full article linked at title]

 OK…so Indonesia has its own brand of fundamentalist extremists who would hang people for "inducing lust"….like Christianity doesn’t have its own loonies???  Some of whom actually sit in the highest offices of the land here in the US of A?? But…its all about them Mooooslems, I guess.

Not also how FUX manages to get the numbers wrong….probably a real reason why they didn’t explicitly link the Reuters’ article, too.

Now, to be fair to FUX Snooze, they did manage to link a similar article on the Indonesian Playboy dispute from an outfit called AsiaMedia.com…which operates out of the UCLA Asia Institute; they quoted the Jakara Post online newspaper articles themselves. (Of course, a rich, right-wing outfit like FOX News can’t afford to actually have news bureaus in Indonesia, so relying on second-hand news sources I guess does them fine, I reckon.)  

All I want to know is this: How in the holy hell can the folks who watch FOX News (most of them probably hate porn with a passion in public (while their husbands and boyfriends surf the Internet for it in the background); comprehend this dissonance of philosophy?? I mean, how can you say on the one hand that porn is bad, bad, bad and those who consume it should be at least sent to the nearest "addiction" center for immediate treatment, if not jailed…and on the other hand, pillory other cultures for doing just about what you’d like to do??  Oh, I forgot already, silly me….it’s all because of the Moooooooslems and their innate hatred of America; nothing we have done (invading and occupying Iraq on false circumstances; backing to the hilt Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians; showering Israel with tons of nukes while threatening to invade Iran for one nuclear plant; all that notwithstanding) would ever justify such deep loathing and hatred, right???

OK..my brain’s starting to hurt, and I have to go to work soon..I think that I’ll just leave it at that and let you think on that.

 

Doc Suzy Goes Bloggamy All Over The “Cockfight at the Badghad Corral”

Leave it to a sex therapist to have the final word on Saddam’s kangaroo lynching….errrrrr, trial and execution.

Quoteh Dr. Susan Block (from her "Blogammy" blog and Counterpunch):

So the Cockfight at the Baghdad Corral has climaxed with the Snuff Film of Saddam Hussein. And the important international question of “Who is the bigger dickhead, Bush or Saddam?” has been answered, sort of.

Let’s examine the contenders. Measuring up first is Saddam the cocky Iraqi, the brutal B-movie schmuck of a dick-tator who conducted mass executions, torture fests and disastrous loser wars while munching Doritos, writing romantic screenplays, erecting giant statues of himself and masturbating to Britney Spears videos. How much more evil and banal can you get? Most of his large-scale evil was committed with full support and often under the instructions of the U.S. government. Eventually, Saddam did have the balls to stand up to his bosses in Washington, and he seemed to have a good time doing it, winning him a few pan-Arabic fans, though it eventually cost him everything. He went limp when it came to defending his government, his country, his family and his life against the Anglo-American invasion of 2003. He was fished out of a hole, forced to open his mouth for an American tongue depressor, pushed and prodded through a kangaroo court, and finally made to bare his neck for the noose. Allahu Akbar!

Meanwhile, on the other end of the Baghdad Corral, so far into the Green Zone he’s not even in Baghdad, stands the American Presidential dickhead, George W. Bush, also a fan of Britney the Panty-less One (or is she a fan of his?). No stranger to hasty executions, during his six years as governor of Texas, he presided over the implementation of 152 death sentences, more than any other governor in recent American history. No stranger to disastrous loser wars either, this self-appointed “War President” has the cajones to demand more and more of the ultimate “sacrifice” from Americans outside his family circle.

Making sure the Bush Family and their cronies don’t have to sacrifice a thing is crucial to this American President’s mission. The only way in which GW Bush is, perhaps, not a dickhead is his sense of “family values,” that is, his Corleone-style devotion to his own family. Here is where the Biblical origins of the Cockfight emerge: Saddam insulted Bush’s family, specifically, his Dad. He did this first by sticking his dipstick into the forbidden American oil harem of Kuwait (though some might say Kuwait was “asking for it”). Then, despite being beaten soundly in Gulf War I and heavily sanctioned, he further affronted the Bush Royals by staying in his saddle and continuing to rule Iraq like a king with his long hard scepter, outlasting George I by over a decade. Saddam’s final humiliation of the retired American President was his botched but cocky assassination attempt during what was supposed to be a laurel-receiving pleasure trip to Kuwait for the Old Man.

[excerpted from Doc Suzy's blog; see the full article here and here]

I guess that it isn’t about oil after all.