Iraq War

Shed No Tears For Calvey

warhogs
(The image to the right is from PhotoTune. Want to know how Oklahoma City is really perceived outside the state? Check out this little ditty by Austin American-Statesman columnist John Kelso.)

U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Virginia), a leading Republican leader in Washington, is asking Imperial President George Bush to bring some troops home from Iraq by Christmas as a symbolic gesture.

Maybe one of those troops could be the whiner and neoconservative ideologue Kevin Calvey, who continues to publish his inane drivel on the Web site of the state’s largest newspaper. Let us hope so. If Calvey gets to come home soon—and apparently he now wants to come home from the gruesome occupation he has supported from the beginning—then we would not have to deal with the fallout of all his political mush that has nothing to do about his service there.

Calvey, a former Republican state legislator now serving a tour in Iraq as a member of the Army National Guard, publishes the blog “Kevin Calvey in Iraq,” which appears on the Web site of the archconservative The Daily Oklahoman. The blog is one of those weird, surreal Okie spectacles almost impossible to explain to anyone outside the state.

After six weeks of not blogging at all and a 15-day vacation, Calvey’s posts suddenly starting appearing again this week. But there was this interesting little gem of information from him:

“I was far less excited about returning to Baghdad,” Calvey whines. “I am proud to serve my country, but being home for 15 days reminded me of what I am missing by being over here. I am glad to serve, but I will be even more glad to finish this tour.”

But why would he want to "finish this tour"? Is this not the Glorious War For Global Freedom Everywhere he has supported for years and years, and is it not sponsored by the Imperial President he so adores? It is exactly people like Calvey who should serve in Iraq, not those soldiers who have come to realize the incompetence and lies of Bush and his advisors. Calvey, if we consider his published arguments, should be pumped with adrenaline each and every moment he can serve in Bush’s Long War. New Rule: Warmongers must serve in the wars they sponsor without complaining.

In the era of The Big Lie, Calvey is yet another neoconservative ideologue that wants it all ways. He supports the occupation yet he wants to come home from it. He obviously supports the illogical philosophy and lies/cliches behind the occupation, but we are supposed to feel sorry for him because he only got a 15-day vacation, and now it is back to Iraq for him. If he were consistent in logic, Calvey would never leave Iraq until peace and electricity reigned throughout the country.

Of course, no reader knows what Calvey actually does in Iraq because he never writes about it in realistic terms. See, it is all Top Secret stuff. He writes about the weather, his exercise schedule, his struggle with weight gain, or political issues related to the occupation. He takes the most extreme conservative view, even as top leaders in his party, such as Warner and U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), have moderated their positions given the violent reality of the long occupation.

It is the warmongering owners and editors at The Daily Oklahoman who should take the blame for Calvey’s weird missives about his jogging schedule and right-wing angst. Who cares if this weirdo ex-legislator wants to talk about his exercise schedule or the hot weather in Iraq, right? (You know what? I bet Calvey gets a lot more air conditioning time than the average Iraqi.) But for the state’s largest newspaper to publish his political commentary on the front page of its Internet site without allowing dissenting blogs or views is another example of why it is still considered the worst newspaper in America.

Okie Funk calls on Warner to stipulate specifically that Calvey must come home as soon as possible. He is no longer “excited” about everything. Poor Kevin. Bring him home early. Please. Maybe we can start a petition drive here to get him home. Let real soldiers, such as these seven brave men, clean up Bush’s mess and set the country on the right track again.

Broadway Extension Warmongers Launch New Propaganda Initiative

(Note: For those who do not know, The Daily Oklahoman fortress is located on the Broadway Extension, a highway in north Oklahoma City.)

Image from www.oldamericancentury.org

The Broadway Extension Warmongers (aka: commentary writers at The Daily Oklahoman) have published yet another quasi-fascist editorial supporting Imperial President George Bush’s gruesome Iraq occupation while denouncing those Democrats who want to bring the troops home.

In addition, the newspaper continues to give politico and fringe right-wing extremist Kevin Calvey, a former state representative, prominent space on its online site to distort the Iraq occupation and lie about who the military is really fighting. A National Guardsman, the archconservative Republican Calvey is currently in Iraq. He blogs regularly for the newspaper under the title “Calvey in Iraq.” His posts have nothing to do about his military service in Iraq. He writes almost exclusively about his political support for the occupation.

(As an aside, let us not forget that “large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists have infiltrated the U.S. military,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that monitors hate groups in the country. This is not your grandfather’s or great-grandfather’s World War II military. Those who serve in Iraq now are primarily (1) poor and have few educational or job choices available to them when they graduate from high school, (2) doing so to obtain combat experience because they are career soldiers or (3) want to go because they get a macho kick killing people and living on the edge. Within this third group, according to organizations such as the SPLC, there are a growing number of militia types and right-wing extremists in the mold of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.)

It is long past time to consider The Daily Oklahoman’s motives. Why does it publish so many editorials supporting the occupation when a majority of American citizens want the military out of Iraq and when a majority of Iraqi citizens want us out? A new poll, for example, shows only 30 percent of Americans support the occupation. Is the newspaper subtly promoting a fascist or American Imperialist ideology and secretly urging people to abandon the country’s historical democratic structures? Does it support the new right-wing military that now accepts skinheads and neo-Nazis into its ranks and routinely tortures prisoners under the tacit approval of the executive branch of government? Do its owners—the Gaylord family—even believe in the concepts and ideals of democracy, free speech and truth? Why does the newspaper remain completely one-sided on this issue? Why will it not present different views about the most important world event in a generation when American citizens are so clearly against the occupation?

Mark Green, in the newspaper’s most recent pro-occupation editorial (Defeatist sounding: Democrats war mantra wearing thin,” June 27, 2007),” argues Democrats have “overplayed their hand” as they “badmouth” the occupation.

Green argues recent low approval ratings for Congress are probably because Americans, in fact, support the occupation even though many experts attribute the low ratings to just the opposite.

Here is a paragraph Green actually wrote: “Then there's the war. No question, lots of liberals are mad Democrats haven't ended it yet. Many experts attribute the low congressional job approval numbers to just that. But maybe part of it is a feeling among centrists and independents that Democrats have gone beyond the mandate they won in the 2006 midterm elections.”

But here is the big fact Green ignores: The Democratic Party, which won majorities in the House and Senate in 2006, primarily based on anti-occupation sentiment, has done absolutely nothing to stop the occupation. Nothing. So, in his twisted logic, Green argues that people do not support Congress because Democrats have “overplayed” what? Overplayed . . . nothing, nada, zilch? How do you overplay when you are not even playing? The Democratic Party has not done anything in any manner to impede Imperial President Bush and his war dogs from escalating the botched occupation. People are against Congress right now because it has not done anything to stop Bush’s occupation, not because it has actually done anything to stop it. That is why an increasing number of prominent Republicans are turning against it as well.

You will not hear anything from Green about U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), who said this about the Iraq occupation yesterday: “In my judgment, the costs and risks of continuing down the current path outweigh the potential benefits that might be achieved. Persisting indefinitely with the surge strategy will delay policy adjustments that have a better chance of protecting our vital interests over the long term.”

According to Green, it all comes down to a couple of things Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have said about the occupation, not anything they have actually done to end it. This is why Americans, according to Green, are not supporting Congress right now because Reid and Pelosi said some bad bad things about poor maligned Bush and his wonderful occupation. People do not like it when Democrats say bad things about Republicans, according to Green’s logic, but they do like it when Republicans say bad things about Democrats.

Meanwhile, Calvey continues his attempts to indoctrinate people into worshipping the corporate-military complex and death over human rights and individuals. And, remarkably, he is such a great history teacher, too!

In a recent post, Calvey compares the tactics of General Robert E. Lee to the tactics of al Qaeda in Iraq with a most telling qualification.

Calvey writes, “An analogy, for students of American history, would be Robert E. Lee's failure to cause despair in the North in the Gettysburg campaign. It is not a perfect analogy, because Robert E. Lee was not evil like al Qaeda. But Lee was an insurgent of sorts, quite a successful one in many ways, and his goal was to get the Federal government to quit the Civil War, since Lee knew he could not win militarily.”

Note here, according to Calvey, Robert E. Lee, who was fighting to uphold the inhumane practice of slavery, “was not evil like al Qaeda.” It is only fitting that the “not-evil” Lee, who some claim ruthlessly punished his own slaves, is an icon of southern pride and contemporary racism. (Reread this post’s third paragraph.) Obviously, the American government’s current polices that encourage the torture of its prisoners are philosophically rooted in the country’s inhumane treatment of slaves. In both cases, “The Other” is deemed subhuman and physically beaten and these acts are presented as “not evil.”

Also, more importantly, American soldiers are fighting insurgents who are NOT affiliated with al Qaeda. These insurgents are people—both Sunnis and Shiites—who want the United States military to stop occupying their country. A majority of Iraqis want Calvey and the rest of the military to leave, according to surveys. Calvey is lying, he knows he is lying, The Oklahoman editors know he is lying, we all know he is lying, he is The Windup Good Soldier that lies and lies and lies, and it goes on and on and on.

The Age of Unreason

Some random thoughts along the armadillo highway . . .

Americans spend millions of dollars each year as part of their health insurance costs to pay medical management companies to deny them health care. These companies reap profits by denying medical help to some of the most critically ill people in the culture, and Americans pay them exorbitantly to do so.

Image from www.oldamericancentury.org

All these law-and-order Republicans are falling all over themselves urging Imperial President George Bush to pardon I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Libby, a former aide to Imperial Vice President Dick Cheney, was recently sentenced to 30 months in jail for obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to the FBI. These forgive-the-criminal Republicans are the same people who promote an ideology of stiff prison sentences for the most minor criminal offenses, such as simple marijuana possession.

Americans now live under a government that sanctions the systematic torture of its prisoners, widespread wiretapping of its citizens, and a corrupt, politicized justice system. But many still believe somehow the country remains a democracy? Call it neofascism or American imperialism or the military-corporate-industrial complex, call it what you like, but what we have here can, in all candor, no longer be termed democracy.

When you privatize public institutions, you take away citizens’ interest in public service. The allegiance is now to the company’s profits, not the government nor even the individual. Eventually, government privatization leads to a collapse of government and any sense of civic loyalty.

The GOP has failed once again to produce any type of meaningful immigration reform on the federal level. Yet its rank-and-file members consider the issue one of the most pressing dilemmas in America today. Republicans today deconstruct. For example, a typical law-and-order Republican will be against amnesty for illegal immigrants but a strong supporter of Imperial President Bush or GOP presidential candidates John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, all who favor amnesty to allow companies to exploit workers and keep wages low for everyone. This type of accepted irrationality—the unspoken suspension of logic, clarity, and consistency—is the most dangerous ideology facing the world today.

Gasoline prices skyrocket. Energy companies report record profits. Somehow, though, the corporate media fails to tie the two together in any meaningful way. The media deflects the issue, making the issue about available fuel supplies and future investments in refineries, not about real people losing financial stability as ultra-rich oil barons fleece our families.

If a pro-choice, amnesty-granting Republican like Rudy Giuliani is nominated as the GOP candidate for president in 2008, does it mean the party no longer exists in a philosophical sense? We can only hope the party of Bush dies of its own contradictions and hubris.

If anyone wonders why people are so depressed these days over the country’s direction, just turn on the cable television news programs and watch the latest right-wing military general tell us the violence will continue in Iraq for years and years to come. In addition, relatively few people in our culture are even allowed to speak out against the Iraq occupation without suffering major repercussions in their lives, much less given time on a major cable news show. Those people who can and do speak out are marginalized by corporate media outlets, which support the continuing Iraq occupation either implicitly or explicitly. Those who speak out against the Bush regime and its failed policies are right, but those who support it are rewarded in government and the corporate world. Until this dynamic changes, the country will not be able to restore its democratic structures.

Graduating seniors this year spent their entire high school years under a violent, pro-war, pro-torture tyrannical despot and regime. This graduating class came of age during a time when logic and reason were replaced with crass manipulation of citizens to secure power and wealth for a relatively small group of American neofascists. The main tool of this manipulation was simplistic appeals to nationalism. What has been the impact on this group of students? Will they have the reasoning and critically-thinking skills to advance knowledge? How can students even think rationally when most of the government leaders they have ever known are calculated liars?

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