Posts tagged George W. Bush

War Speech

It’s maddening to reflect that literally every single president of my lifetime has been involved in a war in Iraq.[1] For more than 20 years of my life, U.S. presidents have been continuously at war against Iraq in some way or another. George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and now Barack Obama, every one of them, started a new assault on Iraq at some point in their presidency, whether in the form of cruise missile strikes and aerial bombing, or lethal sanctions, or for the third time now a ground invasion. The only president of my lifetime who did not start a new war against Iraq was Ronald Reagan; and that’s only because he was too busy helping the Iraqi government get chemical weapons so they could fight a bloody proxy war for him against Iran.

The U.S. government’s two decades of continuous war and blockades in Iraq has killed over a million people, most of them civilians and children, in the name of national policy. The details of the policies always shift, every enemy turns out to be unique in their brutality, but the means of enacting them always remain the same: more missiles, more bombs, more soldiers, and more dead children in Iraq. And now the president speaks of humanitarian missions.

Yesterday night, President Obama gave a speech announcing that he would escalate the U.S.’s third war against Iraq, and that he would widen the war into Syria as well. I can’t say that the speech is extraordinarily belligerent; but only because what is outrageous in the speech is so ordinary, after all these years so deeply familiar with year after year of war in Iraq. The language is as shopworn as it is mendacious. In his speech, the President said:

. . . Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy. First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense. Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven. . . . And our own safety — our own security — depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation, and uphold the values that we stand for — timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth. May God bless our troops, and may God bless the United States of America.

— Barack Obama, remarks on ISIL/ISIS and war on Syria and Iraq, 10 September 2014

These words — these exact words, without any change, could have been uttered by George W. Bush. They sound like him, full of hunting down terrorists and If you threaten America…. They could have been spoken, just as they are, by William Jefferson Clinton. They read exactly like every war speech that George H. W. Bush ever gave.

The dates and the names change, but the war rhetoric is always the same. Every President is a war President, and in war, every President talks in the same voice, from the same mouth, with the same lies, for the same ultimate purpose: to legitimize politically-organized mass murder. If you elect a liberal President who marched against the Vietnam War, what you’ll get in the end is a President. If you elect a humble foreign policy conservative, then he will govern as a President anyway. If you elect a Progressive President, then the fact that he is President will always turn out to be far more relevant than the fact that he is a Progressive. Electing presidents or changing political parties will never end war: No matter who you voted for, the winner always becomes the Government.

For war is essentially the health of the State.

See also.

  1. [1]I was born in 1981.

There is no such thing as a limited police state

Use of sneak-and-peek secret search warrants in federal investigations 2006-2009.

A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial.

–John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke, U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans
Reuters news wire, quoted by Matt Welch at Reason (August 5, 2013)

Well of course the NSA’s secret data-gathering, spying and warrantless wiretaps have been used to prosecute American drug cases. Every single fascist National Security monitoring program, secret search and seizure method, surveillance policy, financial regulation, foreign-aid slush fund, paramilitary police program and executive power that has been created over the last 20 years in the name of counter-terrorism — including large sections of Clinton’s AEDPA and large sections of Bush Jr.’s PATRIOT Act — has been utilized, over and over again, by federal prosecutors and the DEA in order to gather evidence and coerce testimony in drug cases. Every single National Security state program, regardless of its alleged purpose, has been used to strengthen the narcs’ hand, and to double down on the federal government’s insane and destructive prosecution of a War on Drugs. This one is just as outrageous; but it’s no different, and no more surprising.

Now, even if there were such a thing as a limited National Security state — even if there were some way to create a counter-terrorism-only police state, which would focus on a single threat without creating a general, all-powerful police state in the process — it would still mean shredding civil liberties, targeting people and activities which ought to be presumed innocent, and it would still be destructive and wrong.

But, in any case, there is no such thing. There is no way to focus a police state on only one group of people or one part of life; there are no partial or limited police states. There is only a police state — one which will come for you sooner, or later.

Wednesday Lazy Linking

    <ul>
<li><p><a href="http://reason.com/blog/2010/10/11/whats-wrong-with-woodrow-wilso">What&#39;s Wrong With Woodrow Wilson? <cite>Radley Balko: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts.</cite> (2010-10-11)</a>. A: He was a fucking fascist, that's what's wrong. <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2010-10-11.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&amp;friendId=38511064&amp;blogId=539662894">Modesto Police Shoot Francisco Moran and Rita Elias. <cite>Modesto Anarcho!&#39;s MySpace Blog</cite> (2010-10-04)</a>. <q>On Friday night, Rita Elias, 31, died after off-duty sheriff's detective Kari Abbey, shot and killed her after an hour long argument. Kari Abbey, a 6 year veteran to the force, and a detective of four...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2010-10-11.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/c4ss/~3/NvhxfFEUEWg/4022">Under Surveillance America. Darian Worden, <cite>Center for a Stateless Society</cite> (2010-09-16)</a>. <q>Federal Bureau of Investigation files indicate that Ernest Withers, prominent photographer of 1960s Civil Rights activism, was also a federal informant. According to the Washington Post, he provided photographs, scheduling information and biographical sketches on Civil Rights leaders to the FBI. Whether Withers was trying to cash in on information...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/thesuperfluousman/~3/9hVIPLqKQ7o/nothing-new-under-sun.html">Nothing new under the sun. John Markley, <cite>The Superfluous Man</cite> (2010-10-06)</a>. <q>Contemporary American politics makes a great deal more sense in light of the realization that Barack Obama's most devoted fans and fiercest critics are united by a shared delusion: the belief that Obama is really, really interesting.How this manifests among his supporters is apparent enough in the starry-eyed adulation he...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://reason.com/blog/2010/10/12/homesteading-in-haiti-very-adv">Homesteading in Haiti: Very Adverse Possession. Jesse Walker, <cite>Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts.</cite> (2010-10-12)</a>. <q>Emily Troutman reports from the hills near Port-au-Prince: Six months ago, this land was nothing but crickets in the grass. Now, it&#39;s Haiti&#39;s new frontier, a landscape of squatters whose greatest hope is a home of their own. Gray and blue shacks and shanties extend for miles. Small gardens and...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://dallas.libertarianleft.org/blog/2010/09/event-the-prospects-and-ethics-of-political-reform">Event: The Prospects and Ethics of Political Reform. justino, <cite>DFW Alliance of the Libertarian Left</cite> (2010-09-27)</a>. <q>What: As we near election time, candidates for office will inevitably present themselves as an alternative to the status quo that plagues us. But what types of reform in practice, if any, are consistent with a libertarian political philosophy? The first article we will study is Ron Paul’s “My Plan...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://dallas.libertarianleft.org/blog/2010/09/event-for-the-bible-tells-me-so-movie">Event: ‘For the Bible Tells Me So’ Movie. justino, <cite>DFW Alliance of the Libertarian Left</cite> (2010-09-22)</a>. <q>What: 1919 Hemphill, a local DIY collective, is hosting a screening of the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So (2007) as part of its long-time movie series Conscientious Projector. A recipient of numerous international awards, the film documents the turmoil Christian families with a gay child face and “sometimes...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://dallas.libertarianleft.org/blog/2010/09/grieving-student-suspected-of-using-marijuana-reinstated">Grieving Student Suspected of Using Marijuana Reinstated. <cite>DFW Alliance of the Libertarian Left</cite> (2010-10-12)</a>. Narco-Statism Vs. Compassion and Human Decency (Cont'd) <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/c4ss/~3/F44pcFHc-3c/4099">Getting Away With Murder. <cite>Center for a Stateless Society</cite> (2010-10-12)</a>. Cops are here to keep us safe. (Cont'd) <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Tuesday 2010-10-12.)</em></p></li>

Monday Lazy Linking

    <ul>
<li><p><a href="http://catandgirl.com/?p=2626">On the Town with Bad Decision Dinosaur. Dorothy, <cite>Cat and Girl</cite> (2010-09-24)</a>.  <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Friday 2010-09-24.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MarketUrbanism/~3/NRDeFEBdzCs/">Food deserts and zoning. Stephen Smith, <cite>Market Urbanism</cite> (2010-09-13)</a>. <q>by Stephen Smith The other day I put up a post detailing the restrictions that small-scale restaurants and food carts face, but I should mention that grocery stores and supermarkets also face similar restrictions.  Like restrictions on restaurants, they end hitting poor, urban, black neighborhoods the hardest, creating the phenomenon...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Friday 2010-09-24.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/thesuperfluousman/~3/N189OnyRVY8/apparently-starvation-blockades-are-bad.html">Apparently, starvation blockades are bad for the economy.  Who knew? John Markley, <cite>The Superfluous Man</cite> (2010-09-06)</a>. <q>David Brooks has a column in The New York Times entitled "Nation Building Works," in which he attempts to vindicate the US government's past seven years in Iraq. From the article (via Cheryl Cline at der Blaustrumpf):“Iraq has made substantial progress since 2003,” the International Monetary Fund reports. Inflation is...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Friday 2010-09-24.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://www.oblomovka.com/wp/2010/09/14/haystack-vs-how-the-internet-works/">Haystack vs How The Internet Works. Danny O'Brien, <cite>Danny O&#39;Brien&#39;s Oblomovka</cite> (2010-09-14)</a>. <q>There’s been a lot of alarming but rather brief statements in the past few days about Haystack, the anti-censorship software connected with the Iranian Green Movement.  Austin Heap, the co-creator of Haystack and co-founder of parent non-profit, the Censorship Research Center, stated that the CRC had “halted ongoing testing of...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2010-09-25.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://reason.com/blog/2010/09/09/libertarian-review-archives-on"><em>Libertarian Review</em> Archives Online. Brian Doherty, <cite>Brian Doherty: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts.</cite> (2010-09-09)</a>. <q>One of Reason&#39;s high-quality competitors from the 1970s-80s has a semi-complete archives now available online. It&#39;s a fabulous compendium of Carter-ish era libertarian historical fun. David Boaz explains the mag and what it accomplished, focusing on its amazing editor the late Roy Childs.</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2010-09-25.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://jonoscript.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/openness-is-a-lot-of-work/">Openness is a lot of work. jonoscript, <cite>Not The User&#39;s Fault</cite> (2010-09-24)</a>. <q>You can’t just make something “open” and expect magic to happen. Openness is a lot of work. This is true whether you’re making an open-source software project, a website with user-generated content, a political movement, a charity, or any other kind of organization where you expect volunteers to show up...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2010-09-25.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://binarybonsai.com/2010/09/18/george-lucas-stole-chewbacca-but-its-okay/">George Lucas Stole Chewbacca, But It’s Okay. Michael, <cite>Binary Bonsai</cite> (2010-09-18)</a>. <q>Foreword The creation of Star Wars is comprehensive mythology onto itself, populated by rarely documented anecdotes, the likes of “the Millennium Falcon was inspired by a hamburger, with the outrigger cockpit being an olive off to the side” (1) or “My original inspiration for Chewbacca was my dog Indiana.” (2),...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-09-26.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cato-unbound/~3/Y-_iNQgR_QI/">Of Hayek and Rubber Tomatoes. Timothy B. Lee, <cite>Cato Unbound</cite> (2010-09-24)</a>. <q>Henry Farrell writes that “Hayek argues that markets are superior because they allow the ‘dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess’ to be aggregated in a useful way.” He then faults Hayek for failing to acknowledge a key limitation of the price mechanism:...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-09-26.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/c4ss/~3/UkqloCzuQrA/4018">“I’ve Never Seen a Poor Person Give Anyone a Job” Kevin Carson, <cite>Center for a Stateless Society</cite> (2010-09-16)</a>. <q>“I’ve never seen a poor person give anyone a job.”  The cliche is commonly repeated on the Right, in polemics against what they call “class warfare” — not that there’s actually much of it being waged by Democrats, except when they’re fighting on the same side as the Republicans.  See...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-09-26.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://knifetricks.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-am-detained-by-feds-for-not-answering.html">I Am Detained By The Feds For Not Answering Questions. PKL, <cite>KNIFE TRICKS</cite> (2010-04-23)</a>. <q>Sherman Oaks, CaliforniaI was detained last night by federal authorities at San Francisco International Airport for refusing to answer questions about why I had travelled outside the United States.The end result is that, after waiting for about half an hour and refusing to answer further questions, I was released –...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-09-26.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://knifetricks.blogspot.com/2010/09/10-brief-responses-to-700-comments.html">10 Brief Responses To 700 Comments About Refusing To Answer Questions At Passport Control. PKL, <cite>KNIFE TRICKS</cite> (2010-09-11)</a>. <q>Phuket Island, ThailandMy post about refusing to answer questions from Customs and Border Protection officers when re-entering the U.S. has resulted in a lot of debate. My thanks to everyone who joined the conversation, including the authors of the more than one hundred posts that called me a douchebag. Let...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-09-26.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MarketUrbanism/~3/g4soszEh-Lg/">Deregulating food. Stephen Smith, <cite>Market Urbanism</cite> (2010-09-11)</a>. <q>by Stephen Smith Urban planners like to discuss heavy things – roads, buildings, cars, trains. Food, though an integral part of humans’ lives, generally doesn’t enter into the equation as more than a footnote. This may be because food service is governed by different departments than buildings, streets, and vehicles,...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-09-26.)</em></p></li>

Monday Lazy Linking

    <ul>
<li><p><a href="http://jessewalker.blogspot.com/2010/06/archeology-of-liberty-mises-institute.html">THE ARCHEOLOGY OF LIBERTY: The Mises Institute has posted a ton. Jesse, <cite>The Perpetual Three-Dot Column</cite> (2010-06-11)</a>. <q>THE ARCHEOLOGY OF LIBERTY: The Mises Institute has posted a ton of old issues of Liberty in pdf form. My writing appeared in Liberty from late &#39;91 through early &#39;97, and I was a staffer there from mid-&#39;93 to the end of &#39;96. So I&#39;ve got a lot of old...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2010-06-12.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2010/06/free-bradley-manning.html">Free Bradley Manning! Sheldon Richman, <cite>Free Association</cite> (2010-06-12)</a>. <q>SPC Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old intelligence analyst stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer in the vicinity of Baghdad, was arrested two weeks ago for having supposedly sent Wikileaks the “Collateral Damage” video of US troops shooting Iraqi civilians.Justin Raimondo has the full story here.As Mike Gogulski notes in the comments,...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2010-06-12.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://blogofbile.com/2010/06/03/the-anthony-gregory-song-video/">The Anthony Gregory Song Video. <cite>blog of bile</cite> (2010-06-12)</a>. This is a world of magic and delight. <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2010-06-12.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://reason.com/blog/2010/06/06/obama-theory-of-the-month">Obama Theory of the Month. Jesse Walker, <cite>Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts.</cite> (2010-06-06)</a>. <q>Is Barack Obama a secret Muslim? communist? immigrant? extra in the video for &quot;Whoomp (There It Is)&quot;? Gawker weighs the evidence.</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2010-06-12.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/willwilkinson/VeUZ/~3/ycPb3V0aXbc/">Inconsistent Idealization in Rawls. Will Wilkinson, <cite>Will Wilkinson</cite> (2010-05-26)</a>. <q>Section 42, “Some Remarks about Economic Systems,” in John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice is peculiar, especially the discussion of public goods problems. Rawls cites James Buchanan and Mancur Olson as authorities on the nature these problems. However, these are political economists working from assumptions about behavior that Rawls specifically...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-06-13.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2010/06/any-doubts-about-which-is-roguest.html">Any Doubts about which is the Roguest Nation? Sheldon Richman, <cite>Free Association</cite> (2010-06-13)</a>. <q>From Physicians for Human Rights:In the most comprehensive investigation to date of health professionals' involvement in the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation program (EIP), Physicians For Human Rights has uncovered evidence that indicates the Bush administration apparently conducted illegal and unethical human experimentation and research on detainees in CIA custody. The apparent...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-06-13.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="http://blogofbile.com/2010/06/13/unarmed-student-shot-by-police/">Unarmed Student Shot by Police. bosco, <cite>blog of bile</cite> (2010-06-13)</a>. <q>On March 11th, 2010 police officers raided Derek Copp’s apartment, shined a flashlight in his eyes and shot him in the chest. The raid was concerning an alleged sale of $60 worth of marijuana. The officer is currently facing a felony charge with a maximum penalty of four years. It...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Sunday 2010-06-13.)</em></p></li>