Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Torture Redux

I have been astounded at the extreme degree of torture being applied to what is being called “logic” to justify Obama’s efforts in Libya in its various dimensions. Ask how we know that thousands of deaths were imminent and you will get some of the weirdest answers you can imagine, some of which will take several minutes to spin out.

Ask why Libya and not several other places where humanitarian crisis have occurred or are apparently about to and you will get more diverse, and more lengthy, collection of answers. The latest one on Last Word is that our military and its weaponry works well in the open, desert environment of Libya, while it is not as effective in the jungles of some other countries. I wasn’t aware that Syria and Bahrain were jungle country, but the Ivory Coast is at least forested so our military certainly cannot be expected to fight there. The longest answer comes from Obama himself, of course. I’ve always zoned out before he finished saying it, but I suspect it is the broadest and least substantive of any of them.

I always zone out when he’s explaining things. Yes, like the rest of America I love his calmness and the air of confidence he portrays and, other than tending to make me sort of lose interest and dose off, I think its really effective. I usually have no idea what the fuck he’s talking about, though, so I think we need a ten-year-old kid to tell us whether or not he is wearing any clothes. (Figuratively speaking) To tell us, that is, whether he is so intelligent that he is speaking above the heads of us mere mortals, or whether he is just baffling us with bullshit. I’m not real dumb, and it sounds like the latter to me.

Pundits don’t understand his speech either, so they just make shit up.

We’ve certainly gone all medieval on the issue of constitutional authority, and have tortured the logic completely out of recognition as applied to that topic, with magical phrases such as “time limited military kinetic activity” which can be translated to “short war.” Lawrence O’Donnell dragged out a bill from last month which called in principle for Ghaddafi to step down, and for UN action including a “no fly zone,” and he used that on his show as presidential authority for attacking Libya, conveniently failing to note that not only did it fail to call for direct action by this nation, it specifically did not authorize the use of our military forces in any action.

If you asked anyone what the “Bush Doctrine” was you might get any one of several answers, but you would get something that fell within a fairly narrow range of answers. Unless you asked Sarah Palin, of course, but that’s a separate issue.

If you ask about the Obama Doctrine you will mostly get, “Oh, you mean there is one?” Or you will get something like, “Well I know he has one, but I don’t understand it. I think it has to do with leading ships somewhere.”

Torturing logic is not illegal, but maybe it should be; at least in politics.

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