Why does Thailand have all the Luck?

About 2 weeks ago, 10 Soviet-era tanks clanked-along the main thoroughfare in downtown Bangkok and stopped in front of the Presidential Palace. Once the palace had been completely surrounded it was stormed by a contingent of fully-armed Thai regulars who secured the grounds while the Thai generals looked on impassively. General Sonthi Tinsulanond took control of the country, with the tacit approval of the King, and quickly repealed the constitution, dismissed the parliament, and forbid any public demonstrations of support for the former regime. In less than an hour, the government of Prime Minister Thanskin Shinawatra was toppled in a perfectly executed, bloodless coup.

Are we there yet?

Would it really be that dreadful if a similar drama unfolded in Washington DC?

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America the Tyranny

Behold and bear witness to what has become of America, in this era of uncertainty and bewilderment, in this time of fear and intimidation, that since towers were brought down and demolished has methodically fallen into the viper pit of neocon decadence, becoming, as it stands today, an authoritarian’s heaven and a corporatist’s promised land, its people ignorant, as always, to the barrage of waves systemically eroding centuries of rights, freedoms and liberties. From sea to shining sea, despotism is what today those who pay attention see. 


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Human Hell and the Demons of War

Branch Warfare and the Evolution of Aggression

The pages of history, those monuments to humankind’s brief rule over the planet, are replete with violence, death and destruction. Indeed, it can be argued successfully that war, genocide, ethnic cleansing and human violence against each other have defined humanity’s tumultuous existence on Earth. We are inseparable from death and destruction, suffering and violence. Turning the pages of the little we know of our own past, one thing becomes quite apparent: Throughout time, in all corners of the world, mankind has lived side by side with war, destruction and death. We have defined our existence through the self-inflicted violence we unleash upon ourselves. What is it about the human condition that espouses in us a propensity to grossly annihilate ourselves, inflicting horrendous misery onto our kind?

Violence and humanity were born conjoined twins out of the thick canopy of our ancestral home in the Eastern African jungles. Even in the ape-like appearance and behavior of our primate selves could our violent genes be seen. Competition forced upon us the will to survive through the defeat of competitor groups. Wars waged high in the canopy became the first symptoms of our disease. Group versus group, competitor versus competitor, the violence ingrained in us manifested itself in the primitive battles and hollowed screams of our long-gone ancestors.

Branch to branch, foot by foot, with nail and teeth the prelude to modern warfare was born.


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This Is The Way Of Dictatorships.

If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier... just so long as I'm the dictator.”

George Walker Bush, 2000

 

Was this a really a joke? Back in 2000 many thought so. But was George in jest? Maybe there was more to that remark than bad taste. Maybe it was a private prank on the American people.  

That was then, but this is now: It’s not a joke anymore. It’s reality.  

With the help of three posturing Senators and a spineless, corrupt Congress, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 has been imposed upon the Republic. For those still in the dark, under this law George W. Bush has the full power not only to decide who is a threat but also to order his Praetorian Guard to haul the suspect away to whatever end. Neither courts nor Congress nor citizenry have legal recourse or protection from the wrath of Emperor George. 

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War in Heaven: Woodward's Book and the Establishment Insurgency

Bob Woodward has long been the voice of the American Establishment – or of certain quadrants of it, at any rate. When Richard Nixon's criminal depredations and mental instability had gone too far and it was decided to rein him in, former military intelligence officer Woodward was there as a safe pair of hands to receive the damning revelations of "Deep Throat" and help bring down the Nixon presidency. When the Establishment decided it was best to throw in with the Bush Faction's aggressive militarism after 9/11 – lots of big money to be made out of war and fear, and those tax cuts were just too sweet to pass up -- Woodward was there again, with a series of stories and books which, as Michiko Kakutani notes in the New York Times, "depicted the president — in terms that the White House press office itself has purveyed — as a judicious, resolute leader, blessed with the 'vision thing' his father was accused of lacking and firmly in control of the ship of state."

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NATO’s Inferno

Civilised (adjective): cultured, educated, refined, enlightened, polite, elegant, sophisticated, urbane
Civilise (verb): to enlighten, educate, cultivate, improve, advance, develop, refine

Poor old Dante Alighieri, were he around today, I am sure he would find it difficult to find the words to describe the evils visited by so-called civilised nations on the defenceless of the planet, assuming that is, he was fully informed of what is going on.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised but nevertheless I am. Surprised firstly that I live in a barbaric culture that has been able to masquerade as civilised and secondly, that it has been able to persuade the world that it possesses civilised credentials in the first place. And thirdly, that it has been able to carry off this illusion for well on five hundred years.

Most of us associate the idea of being civilised with learning and with respect for culture, though the root of the word is that of the city dweller.


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Barking Mad

There’s nothing more disturbing than knowing that an alcohol-addled megalomaniac has his sweaty fingers on the Big Red Switch and that with one little tug he could ignite the world like a Roman candle.

It’s not a comforting thought, but it’s the truth.

As the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate and the feckless congress concedes more power to the president; Bush’s grasp of reality seems to grow increasing threadbare. How much more pressure his fragile psyche can take?

Regrettably, there are signs that Bush is losing ground to an invasive form of delirium praecox; the steady erosion of his already circumscribed mental faculties.

This can’t be good for the country...or the planet.

 


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Why Bush wants immunity from prosecution for war crimes

Although not as widely remarked as the elimination of habeas rights and the consecration of torture, the recently passed Senate torture legislation includes provisions that would immunize the Bush administration and other US personnel from prosecution under the War Crimes Act of 1973, not just looking forward but retroactively as well, going back to 1996.

Why 1996? Because the War Crimes Act of 1996, signed into law by Bill Clinton on August 21 of that year, makes violations of several Geneva Convention protocols by any US national or member of the US military, here or abroad, a crime.

Bush is a US national, and he has acknowledged violating Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, including but not limited to:

  • (a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture
  • (c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment.
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    More “Culture Wars” Gibberish from nutcase David Brooks

    Most of us know David Brooks as the balding goofball on “The Jim Lehrer News Hour” who shrugs his shoulders and giggles gleefully whenever he’s asked a question. He’s actually a political pundit whose far-right analysis of culture and politics appears regularly on the op-ed page of the New York Times. Like fellow-traveler Tom Friedman, Brooks loves to offer his sage advice to Muslims about how they can improve themselves in the eyes of westerners and, thus, limit the relentless bombing and massacres brought on by a belligerent American foreign policy.

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    Trick and Treat: HP Sauce for Congressional Hypocrites

    Eager, as always, to make both first call at the bar and an early getaway, the bicameral two ring circus of embezzlers, extortionists, buffoons, car dealers, and lawyers known as the US Congress stirred itself last week to raise its right arm and wield its mighty rubber stamp.

    With Sunday football, Halloween, and elections dangling in front of its nose/trunk like a carrot in front of the proverbial elephant's ass, the 109th convention of bozo millionaires passed the Bush administration's military tribunal proposal-- finally bringing bourgeois theory finally into line with bourgeois practice by abrogating the "principle" of habeas corpus.

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    Thunder on the Mountain: The Murderers of Democracy

    “Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes.

    I tell you this right now, I don’t give a damn about your dreams.”

    -- Bob Dylan, “Thunder on the Mountain”


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    Dear Dubya: The Iraq Solution!

    Hey there Georgie Boy, long time no speak. From what I’ve been hearing, you’ve had a rough time as of late. As always, I’m here to help. So put down that comic book: 9/11: A Graphic Adaptation, and listen up! I have The Solution.

     

    I’ve noticed strain on your face. News reporters aren’t giving you the respect you think you deserve. Your hand puppet… er I mean right hand man, Tony Blair, with a little encouragement from outraged Labour Party MPs, is on the verge of moving out of Number 10 Downing Street. The courts are starting to tell you can’t sit around listening in on the party line anymore. And some smart aleck senators tried to tell you thumbscrews and swirlies were not acceptable! Obviously they didn’t belong to the same frat house you did. Good thing you put the kaibosh on that!

    The worst of all is… Iraq. We always keep coming back to Iraq don’t we? It’s the big corncob up the POTUS butt. It ain’t working out. Anbar Province is all but lost. In Baghdad, bodies are piling up higher than that mountain of missing left socks in your laundry room.


    Civil war is raging in this little Liberation Quagmire you’ve created.
     

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