Sunday, February 25, 2007

Here we go again

Seymour Hersh has yet another invaluable look inside the byzantine politics of the Kremlin White House called The Redirection.

Of course in a democracy the goverments policies should be open and transparent, at least in the broad strokes. For example, we should know who our allies are and who the bad guys are. So I guess what follows gives you a good barometer of how committed to our democratic heritage our current regime is.

Judging from what Hersh has to report, not very.

Having failed to secure Afghanistan, in large part due to our rush to get our hands dirty in Iraq, our fearless leader is eager to start a shooting war with Iran. Naturally that means his minions are actively seeking to create a pretext for said war. But in addition we have decided to greenlight a Saudi plan - hatched by prince 'Bandar Bush' (you may remember him from Fahrenheit 911) to fund extremist terrorist Sunnis.

Does that plan ring a bell? It was the same plan used in Afghanistan against the Soviets: Saudi money and mullahs with US military training and technology, which resulted in.... Al Qaeda!

That's right, apparently Bush has decided that the Shiites of Iran are more dangerous than Osama bin Laden's peeps! So we'll arm and unleash all the Al Qaeda wannabees we can find and point them towards Iran and Hezbollah... and hope they focus all their hate on them. So the US, Israel, Saudi and the 'Salafists' (the new and improved rebranded name for Al Qaeda type terrorists) against team Shiite - that's the plan for peace in the Middle East.

Quite the plan, eh? Of course, in order to do this both the Congress and the CIA have to be cut out of the operation... so it is being run out of the Veeps office, natch. Luckily our regime has plenty of folks with resumes that say IRAN-CONTRA on them, which provided invaluable experience (Hersh reviews the 'lessons') in what and what not to do when using an illegal 'national security' slush fund to essentially conduct a personal foreign policy with no oversight or even knowledge on the part of either the Congress or the security agencies.

Kinda like how kings of days gone by used to use their personal purse to finance wars of whim and fancy.

Puts a whole new spin on the meaning of the term 'conservative,' don't it?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Seen this weekend

I watched three vids this weekend, the superb "Lewis Black: Black on Broadway," the intriguing "Beowulf and Grendel," and the surprising "Never Cry Wolf."

I call the last one surprising because neither my wife nor I remembered putting it in the queue. That was virtually last surprising thing about it, well, that and the male nudity that the Disney folks put on the screen in 1983. It was also a bit curious to see Disney actually putting out an unabashedly environmental movie, but then that is less surprising than it is a commentary on the manipulative right-wing politics that Disney has made a franchise feature over the past two decades. 2 stars out of 5

Beowulf and Grendal was interesting for its investigation of the creation of the saga as well for the stunning beauty of the landscape (Iceland) and refreshingly frank dialogue. It suffered a bit for not having subtitles (I like using them even when the movie is in my native tongue) particularly since the diction and words were anything but ordinary. The inherent violence was tastefully done and it managed to avoid lapsing into Monty Python despite some very comic scenes. 4 stars out of 5

If you have not seen Lewis Black on Comedy Central's Daily Show, then you really are missing something. Make up for lost time by renting his incredible performance in Black on Broadway. Never have I found a comic so trenchant, mordant and spot on. Again, his use of language is a refreshing change from the palaver of the thought police. Even though his performance is from five years ago it seems fresh and timely today (particularly if you live in the Front Range). Run, don't walk, to find out what all the noise is about. 5 out of 5