Archive for the ‘war’ Category

So, you have the former director of the FBI saying this:

“I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013,” Comey said. “It’s possible, but I don’t know.”

And you have the news media following the aftermath of the raid on Twitler’s lawyer’s office, allegations that his fellow oligarchs paid off former mistresses, and so forth.

What to do, what to do….

Oh yeah, that thing.

So, Cheeto Mussolini fired off $224M worth of Tomahawk missiles at Syria to distract from all the bad news coming out about him. Meanwhile, Flint, Michigan, needs only $55M to replace its pipes so it’s no longer poisoning children.

But apparently a dictator poisoning his own people somewhere overseas is more important than our own children getting poisoned. Make America first! TruMp! tRump! TrUMp!

Yeah, are we tired of all this winning yet?

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Apparently Deadbeat Donnie is questioning why we’re still in Afghanistan after 17 years and suggesting it’s time to leave. Actually, it’s only been 15 years (16 years in December), but hey, at least His Fraudulency is asking the question.

So, there may have been a reason to stay in Afghanistan when Osama bin Laden was just over the border ready to pop back in and turn it into his terrorist playground again. But Barack Hussein Obama whacked bin Laden like a Mafia don whacks a disobedient goomba. So what do we gain by staying in Afghanistan? The only thing Afghanistan produces is heroin, watered with blood. We don’t need the heroin, and we don’t need to be the ones expending blood. As far as I can tell, the only difference between the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in Afghanistan is that the “good guys” wear white head wraps and the “bad guys” wear black head wraps. Or maybe it’s the other way around, I forget my movie western hat specs. So anyhow, they both pretty much agree on the same repressive 13th century policies, all they disagree with is which one of them should implement it. So … why the hell are we involved in that mess, anyhow?

– Badtux the “Time to go, folks” Penguin

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This Memorial Day, feel sad for all those who died for old men’s wallets. Because other than WW2 and the initial Afghanistan war, none of our wars have been about defending our nation from outside attackers. They’ve all been about making old men rich (or, in the case of the American Civil War, defending old mens’ slave riches).

My dad had the measure of it when he signed up for the U.S. Navy during the Korean War to avoid being drafted into the Army. He wasn’t interested in dying on Hamburger Hill in order to defend South Korea against a North Korea that posed no threat to the United States. Especially given that South Korea was ruled by a brutal vicious dictator at the time and thus he would have been dying to keep one dicator from subjugating people already subjugated by another dictator, not for anybody’s freedom. That’s been most of our wars in our nation’s history — voluntary wars against people who never attacked the United States nor threatened the United States in any way, and nothing about freedom. Making the world safe for old men’s wallets.

– Badtux the Memorial Penguin

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Bonus music: Vera Lynn is 100 years old today!

I’ve been watching nuclear bombs go off. Only on archival footage from the 40’s and 50’s, thankfully, all scratchy and low-def black-and-white. But seems like our current administration, with its focus on the Pentagon rather than the State Department, might make it possible to view nuclear bombs going off in hi-def color. Specifically, if the U.S. ever attacks North Korea, they have nuclear weapons, and it’s likely that Seoul goes up in a nuclear blast a few hours thereafter, Tokyo a few days after that, and San Francisco a few weeks after that. (Hey, it takes *time* to haul a nuke across the Pacific on a fishing trawler!). Because that’s what happens when you threaten the existence of a nuclear power — they figure that if they’re going down anyhow, they’ll take their enemies down with them as much as possible.

Meanwhile, it’s time to revive another word that we thought died with the Soviet Union: политрук . Or “Politruck”, or “political monitor”. These are political officers embedded into government agencies to monitor loyalty to the regime. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the Orange Racist Russian Stooge is using an old Soviet tactic to ensure that the government apparatus is loyal to him, but it does make his Russian connection look rather … obvious?

Talking about which, FBI Director Comey testified to Congress and verified that there was, indeed, an investigation into the connections between the Trump campaign and the Russians — but, unlike with the Hillary investigation, he refused to discuss details. Because IOKIYR, I guess.

Finally, expect a new distraction shortly. Only 39% of voters now approve of Trump’s performance in office. The good news for Trump is that it won’t get much lower, or at least it won’t get lower than 27%.

The sad thing about the prior link is that it’s from 2005, and could be discussing the current President just as much as it was discussing President Bush back then. Progress. 😦 .

– Badtux the Dejavu Penguin

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The Nobel Prize winner for Literature is….

Bob Dylan, “A Hard Rain’s gonna Fall”. This song is from 1962 or 1963, so it’s not an anti-Vietnam-War song. It’s more of an anti-war song altogether. The hard rain people were worried about was nuclear.

If all that Bob Dylan had ever done was Highway 61 Revisited it would be clear that he was one of the giants of the field. But the songs on that album were only a few of the many, many excellent songs that he wrote in his career.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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Happy BBQ day!

On this day, we commemorate the lives of all the pigs and cows that have died so we can have that most American of foods: barbecue! Nowhere else on the planet are giant slabs of meat placed onto grills and slathered with spices and sauce like we do it here. Whether your favorite is North Carolina pulled pork (mystery gray meat) with a vinegar-pepper sauce, South Carolina pulled pork with mustard-pepper sauce, Mississippi-Louisiana chopped beef with a sweet-spicy tomatoey sauce, or Texas BBQ rubbed with spices and smoked over a wood fire, or even California “barbecue” which has no sauce at all and is just meat cooked outdoors, this is the day to celebrate meat, meat, MEAT!

So enjoy your barbecue, boys and girls, enjoy it well. Oh, and there’s some dead folks we’re supposed to be commemorating today too, but who cares about them, right?

– Badtux the Bitterly Snarky Penguin

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Yesterday, of course, being the 40th anniversary of our glorious victory in Vietnam, where, after failing to figure out what exactly we were fighting for and who we were dying for, the very last American left Saigon via helicopter from the American Embassy roof.


What, you say? We *didn’t* win in Vietnam? Don’t say that to the fine soldiers at the VVA, they’ll claim up and down that while *they* were fighting, the war was over and won! But of course it wasn’t, because the only way to win the war was to invade North Vietnam, and China promised to send “volunteers” if the US did that. So that left a huge army at the borders with South Vietnam, a huge army which invaded and won the war. Contrary to popular belief and the front page of the Washington Post on that day in 1975, Saigon did not fall to the “Vietcong”. Saigon fell to regular units of the NVA, North Vietnamese Army. The Viet Cong had largely been destroyed by the 1968 Tet Offensive and did not present any existential danger to the government of South Vietnam after that time.

On this day 40 years ago, if you wanted a M-16 rifle, there was plenty of them lying around the streets of Saigon, never fired and only dropped once, with abandoned ARVN uniforms littering the gutters. While there were a few South Vietnamese army units that fought hard, the majority of the ARVN melted away. Pretty much like the Iraqi Army when ISIS started shooting in their direction.

A few aging ARVN generals still hang around this area. I avoid them. They’re as annoying as the “Lost Cause” types in the American South. The reality is that South Vietnam fell because the South Vietnamese weren’t willing to fight for it. There was plenty of guns and ammunition in South Vietnam, the fact that Hanoi used captured ARVN guns and ammunition for most of their offensive after capturing the first two cities with armories should make that clear. What there was a lack of, was bodies willing to fight for a government that had become corrupt, autocratic, and divorced from the people it purported to rule. Pretty much the same reason the Confederacy fell, now that I think of it.

The North Vietnamese sent the generals and top politicians that they captured to “re-education” camps. The Union sent the generals and top politicians that they captured back to their homes in the former Confederacy. There was no equivalent in South Vietnam to the KKK and White Leagues that took the Southern USA back for the former Confederacy (as long as they pretended to be part of the USA and pretended to not have slavery) after the final surrender happened. Anybody who could have led such organizations was busy dying in the “re-education” camps. It was a harsh way of doing things, but probably saved many lives over the long run compared to the lenient way that the US government treated the rebellious Southern states. But then, I suppose that there were different goals at stake here. The average Northern politician or general didn’t give a shit about how Southerners ran their states or how harshly they treated their Negros, as long as they pretended they were part of the United States and pretended they didn’t have slavery. For the North, the war had always been about preserving the unity of the nation and only incidentally about ridding the nation of an institution (slavery) that had become a global embarrassment, not about the fate of black people. Meanwhile, for North Vietnam, they not only wanted to re-unite the nation, they had an ideology they wanted to impose on the South — and so any leader in the South had to be removed and sent to prison camps. Which they did.

Different goals, different end results. Vietnam got the unity they wanted. Their South is just Vietnam. Nobody flies the flag of the former South Vietnamese government in their South, not only because it would result in them being shot, but because the majority of Vietnamese in the South were born after the war ended and would be completely baffled as to why they would want to do such a thing. Meanwhile, the USA never did get the unity it desired — the South has always sat restless down on the USA’s southern flanks, with the flag of the defeated rebellion still flown regularly over state buildings and private businesses and homes, never really part of the nation until the 1960’s and the communications revolution started bringing it closer to the rest of the US.

Which tells you something about victory versus “victory”. The North Vietnamese knew that simply defeating the ARVN wasn’t enough to get the unity they desired. They acted ruthlessly to insure that there was only one Vietnam, run from Hanoi, with no trace of the old South Vietnamese government left in place, and anybody who dared disagree was sent to the prison camps or simply killed. The United States has never really done that kind of thing. Which makes us better than the Vietnamese, I suppose, on some moral scale. Some moral scale that doesn’t include the fate of the thousands of blacks who died after the Civil War at the hands of the KKK and White Leagues, or the millions of people killed by US guns and bombs around the world over the past hundred years, or …

– Badtux the History Penguin

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