Wright from Washington City
July 30, 2012


Romney at the VFW

Mitt promises he'll be even worse than Barry  



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Anybody who doubts we live in Bizarro World only has to pay attention to the spectacle of astounding feats and patriotic fervor splashed across our telescreens every four years. And I'm not talking about the Olympics. I'm referring, of course, to the campaign for World Emperor.

In Bizarro World, individual enterprise, resourcefulness, and risk-taking are not what it takes to build a successful business. It's the government. At least, that's what our Exalted Leader informed us on July 13 in a speech to supporters at Roanoke, Virginia:

Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business — you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

It was a great opportunity for the Republicans, and they took it, savaging Obama for not having a clue about how jobs are created — which, of course, is true. But then the Democrats took the gloves off, and accused Republican rival Mitt Romney of being a heartless robber baron who 1) grew fat from the destruction of American jobs and 2) stashes his ill-gotten gains overseas to prevent the honest toilers of the IRS from using them to feed starving widows and orphans.

Well! The fight was on. Romney came back swinging, accusing the Beige Messiah of not being bloodthirsty enough to rule the world. For his July 24 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he wrapped himself in the flag and emitted an astounding torrent of jingoistic triumphalism, stopping short only of calling for outright war on the evil Iranians.

Any doubt that the Mormon Romney was not a Christian should have been shattered by the following statement:

"I believe our country is the greatest force for good the world has ever known...."

That, of course, might come as a surprise to the followers of Jesus whom he courts so assiduously, not to mention the increasingly numerous victims of various Imperial rampages among the lesser peoples of the globe. But America's state religion demands nothing less than groveling worship of Imperial power. So Romney took the opportunity to show that he is second to none in his love of the Empire's glorious propensity to stomp flat any colored people who don't toe the line. He came off sounding like a prettier George W. Bush.

He opened with the usual cynical pandering to his audience of former legionaries, by referring to the latest domestic massacre — which, unfortunately, the Authorities once again have been unable to pin on the Russians, the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Syrians, or the Iranians:

I want to start today with a few words about the unimaginable tragedy in Colorado last week. We've since learned that among the victims were four people who had served — or were serving — our country in uniform. Today, our hearts go out to the families of John Larimer of the U.S. Navy; Rebecca Wingo, an Air Force veteran; Jesse Childress, an Army veteran and member of the Air Force reserve; and Jonathan Blunk, a Navy veteran who died shielding his girlfriend from the spray of bullets. The loss of four Americans who served our country only adds to the profound tragedy of that day. All Americans are grateful for their service and deeply saddened by their deaths. We mourn them and we will remember them.
A skeptic might remark that apparently we don't much care about the little children who died; after all, how good were they at flying armed drones or shooting Muslims? But let us forge ahead with some hifalutin verbiage sure to bring a tear or two to the eyes of our patriotic audience (cue martial music swelling in the background):

... You answered the call of your country in a time of war. From December 7th, 1941, to September 11, 2001, whenever America has been tested, you stepped forward. You come from our farms, our great cities, our small towns and quiet neighborhoods. Many of you have known violence so that your neighbors could only know peace. You have done more than protect America; your courage and service defines America. You are America at our best and it is an honor to address you.
Which just confirms what all those greasy little foreigners have been saying about us: America is defined not by peaceful culture and commerce, but by war and killing. America at its best is young men who reject individual thought for groupthink, and individual enterprise for marching in lockstep; who shoot to kill and take orders without question. But wait, there's more:
Our veterans are part of a proud tradition that stretches back to the battlefields at Lexington and Concord — and now to places like Fallujah and Kandahar.
Of course, the patriots at Lexington and Concord weren't members of any army, and were defending their communities against foreign invaders ... a little like the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what a triumph Fallujah was! After three U.S. mercenaries were killed and mutilated by angry natives, Imperial legionaries surrounded the city, machine-gunned those who tried to escape, and then destroyed it with bombs, white phosphorus, and artillery. They made the Redcoats of 1775 look like a bunch of nuns on a picnic. A proud tradition, indeed!

One wonders why Romney's speechwriters chose to even mention Fallujah. Are they unaware of its embarrassing connotations? Or are they just secure in the knowledge that the mainstream media, our Ministry of Truth, will smother any mention of U.S. war crimes with massive indifference?

And as for Kandahar, well, after a decade of U.S. victories it's in a state of utter chaos, with endemic assassinations and with suicide bombings about every week. A year ago the mayor was decapitated by a bomb in someone's turban, and before that the dictator's brother was shot in the head there — by his own bodyguard. Just last month two bombs blew up a crowd of people in a marketplace, killing 21 and wounding 50, and more recently a regional governor was murdered and terror bombs killed more people. As in the rest of Afghanistan, things are getting worse there, not better.

In any case, the biggest political issue in the United State today is not protecting the Homeland from screaming raghead hordes, but the economy. Despite the soothing assurances of officials, news commentators, and the increasingly unconvincing Ben Bernanke, the economy is showing no signs of getting better, even incrementally. The real unemployment rate is approximately 22 percent, about the same as during the worst of the last Great Depression. And it's going up.

But Romney seemed to see the economy as important only in the context of U.S. power:

Any time our military accomplishes a vital mission it is a proud moment for our nation. But we owe our veterans and our military more than just an accounting of our successes. They deserve a fair and frank assessment of the whole picture — of where we are and where we want to be. And when it comes to national security and foreign policy, as with our economy, the last few years have been a time of declining influence and missed opportunity.

Just consider some of the challenges I discussed at your last national convention.

Since then, has the American economy recovered?

Has our ability to shape world events been enhanced, or diminished?

Have we gained greater confidence among our allies, and greater respect from our adversaries?

And, perhaps most importantly, has the most severe security threat facing America and our friends, a nuclear-armed Iran, become more or less likely?

There you have it, folks. Iran's non-existent nuclear-bomb program is not only a "severe" threat, it's "perhaps" more important than the jobs and economic security of Americans.
American leadership depends, as it always has, on our economic strength, on our military strength, and on our moral strength. If any of these falter, no skill of diplomacy or presidential oratory can compensate. Today, the strength of our economy is in jeopardy.

A healthy American economy is what underwrites American power.

That's the real problem with an economy in the toilet: it makes it harder for the United State to rule the world.
When growth is missing, government revenue falls, social spending rises, and many in Washington look to cut defense spending as an easy out. That includes our current President.
And we're back to the old "conservative" favorite. No matter that U.S. military spending almost equals that of the rest of the world combined. We can't afford to cut one miserable penny from the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on supersonic fighter planes that suffocate their pilots, hideously expensive carrier battlegroups that are increasingly vulnerable to cheap anti-ship missiles, and more than a thousand military bases in more than 150 countries around the world. [1] Or those screaming hordes will come sweeping up our beaches. Or something.

Romney makes it sound as if the cuts, should they actually go through, would reduce Imperial Storm Troopers to fighting with cap guns:

Today, we are just months away from an arbitrary, across-the-board budget reduction that would saddle the military with a trillion dollars in cuts, severely shrink our force structure, and impair our ability to meet and deter threats. Don't bother trying to find a serious military rationale behind any of this, unless that rationale is wishful thinking. Strategy is not driving President Obama's massive defense cuts. In fact, his own Secretary of Defense warned that these reductions would be "devastating." And he is right.
In fact, the Budget Control Act that will automatically reduce war spending if budget agreement isn't reached was passed by the Republicans. And the sequestration Romney and his audience fear would not be Obama's alone, but the product of legislative "gridlock" between the Republicans and Democrats. Anyway, it's anybody's guess whether the cuts actually go through. Too many powerful interests, such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and a host of others, depend on the continued flow of war dollars.

Besides, military spending creates jobs, according to one of Romney's advisors. John Lehman, co-chair of Romney's Defense Working Group, former Reagan secretary of the navy, and now (what else?) an investment banker, says that "defense" cuts hurt the economy. We truly do live in Bizarro World.

As president, my goal in Afghanistan will be to complete a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. I will evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our military commanders. And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation.
Where have we heard that before? Oh, yeah — from Barack Obama, three years ago:
Going forward, we will not blindly stay the course. Instead, we will set clear metrics to measure progress and hold ourselves accountable. We'll consistently assess our efforts to train Afghan security forces and our progress in combating insurgents. We will measure the growth of Afghanistan's economy, and its illicit narcotics production. And we will review whether we are using the right tools and tactics to make progress towards accomplishing our goals.
Back then, Obama was shooting for a "successful transition" to the Afghan "security" forces by 2011. Today, that goal is just as far from reality as it ever was. The extremely well-dressed president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is in truth still just the mayor of Kabul. Imperial attempts to train Afghan army troops and police continue to founder on illiteracy, indifference, corruption, and a high rate of desertion. In fact, the only Afghans who can fight worth a damn are the insurgents. And Romney hasn't even tried to give us a reason why his regime would be any more successful in this respect than Obama's.

But who needs reality when you've got high-sounding rhetoric? Parts of Romney's speech sound almost like something from "Team America, World Police." [2]

I am an unapologetic believer in the greatness of this country. I am not ashamed of American power. I take pride that throughout history our power has brought justice where there was tyranny, peace where there was conflict, and hope where there was affliction and despair. I do not view America as just one more point on the strategic map, one more power to be balanced. I believe our country is the greatest force for good the world has ever known, and that our influence is needed as much now as ever. And I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century.
The problem with this American century, from Romney's viewpoint, is that there are too many damned foreigners who won't take orders. He denounces the "corrupt" Vladimir Putin, China, Hugo Chavez, the Syrian regime, and "the ayatollahs," whose attempts to make their own fuel for nuclear-power stations must be ruthlessly stamped out. He even criticizes Obama for not encouraging a non-existent Iranian popular uprising. The current emperor just isn't macho enough to bend all those recalcitrant non-Americans to the Imperial will; nor does he grovel to Israel the way he should. And he cravenly pulled back on surrounding Russia with anti-missile systems, which the Russians thought were aimed at them, but which were actually there for completely altruistic purposes: to defend Europe from non-existent Iranian nuclear missiles.

The question is, will Romney's saber-rattling rhetoric remind voters of Clueless George and his bull-in-the-china-shop foreign policy? And if it does, will it put them off, or have they forgotten just how tired of it they became?

Certainly, Romney seems to be doing his best to follow in Bush's footsteps. After winding up his speech with an over-the-top incantation about the "eternal torch of decency, freedom, and hope," he left for Europe and Israel on the obligatory candidate's pilgrimage to show off his foreign-policy chops. However, on his first stop he managed to offend the British by 1) bragging about an audience with the chief of the British foreign secret service, and 2) criticizing British security measures for the London Olympics. [3]

The election is his to lose. And he just might.  Ω

July 30, 2012

Published in 2012 by WTM Enterprises.

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1. Anyone encouraged by the so-called withdrawal from Iraq, which left behind thousands of legionaries manning gigantic installations the size of small cities, may be surprised to learn that the Empire is expanding its footprint into Africa, in China's own back yard, and elsewhere. The creation of a new Africa Command is only the beginning. Troops are being stationed in Australia, to counter the Yellow Peril of China, and the Philippines are being pressured to allow the reopening of Subic Bay and other former U.S. bases. The new strategy is to establish as many small bases as possible, so-called lily pads, to make the U.S. presence almost ubiquitous.

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2. It doesn't help that Romney looks a little like a marionette himself.

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3. One commentator pointed out that Romney had managed to pull off what the British regime itself had failed to do: make the British public care about the Olympics.

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