Dubya Owns the Afghanistan Debacle

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My bygone, middle school’s Social Studies instructor, H.M., taught me how critical thinking, in part, depends upon one’s ability to accurately sift thru the cause and effect aspects, of the situation at hand.

As of late, the media analysts / would-be strategists (of all political stripes) have been rehashing Afghanistan’s downfall. Considering these talking heads’ inconclusive hand wringing and worthless finger pointing, it’s my conclusion that their difficulties, in part, are based upon their inability to grasp how cause and effect actually interact. Let’s dig deeper.

Twenty Augusts ago, on the 6th, (then president) George W. Bush, (purportedly) took a gander at his Presidential Daily Briefing; that PDB ominously titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”; that very document even envisioning commercial jet hijackings!

As everything eventually panned out, the recently installed prez had been granted / gifted an ample five week long heads up; i.e., to prepare in a prompt, proactive manner; to protect and defend the United States of America; to, ultimately, prevent needless human suffering and death.

Did W even lift a pinky finger to do so? NOPE! By the time 9/11 had rolled around, W’s leadership vacuum had managed to suck 19 of Osama bin Laden’s box cutter wielding terrorists into America’s airports and comfortably seat them aboard 4 jetliners. If things had been any worse, he probably would’ve served ’em breakfast, too.

Ergo, ObL’s predicted attacks wound up catching W with his Commander-In-Chief pants down, all of which horrified his handlers. However, it was not the attacks, themselves, which had formed worry lines on their mugs. What actually sent them reeling in panic mode boiled down to the Q:

How will we ever be able to cover our boss’s sorry ass; firm up his politically flaccid image?

Their eventual, concocted M.O. amounted to a diversionary scam. They’d instruct bush-leaguer W to, FIRST, fearmonger the gullible, non-critical thinking public and, NEXT, dupe these sheeple into blind acceptance of his vengeance seeking, “smoke out” Osama bin Laden (dead or alive), willy-nilly, batshit crazy crusade.

One wonders if they had ever considered flying a more brains over brawn approach up the flagpole; i.e., something akin to Operation Neptune Spear, which President Barack Obama would eventually approve (come 2011); the meticulously orchestrated, regimented operation, where U.S. Navy SEALS were able to finally track down and obliterate bin Laden (not that his death did much of anything to win W’s no-win War on Terror/make our world a safer place).

Anyway, seeing how W’s “smoke out” plan was never anything more than a CYA smokescreen, he had never actually intended to bring 9/11’s architect to justice. All his wranglers did manage to accomplish was snagging their boy his coveted second term. And, as is true with most other cookie cutter Republicans, clutching to power (and amassing obscene wealth) is all that ever really matters to them.

Alas, throughout W’s eight year reign of terror, he exploited the Afghans as his political pawns; used them as his punching bag; even waterboarded / tortured suspected enemies of his own making; while trying to cover it all up with his euphemistic catchphrase, “enhanced interrogation techniques”.

Abroad: W was, still is, guilty of [1] needlessly slaughtering 241,000 people, 71,000 of them civilians [read it and weep article located here], [2] stifling / snuffing out that nation’s culture, and [3] blasting the real estate / infrastructure to smithereens.

Domestically: To this very day, W’s fear generated, U.S. Patriot Act still bulldozes and buries our once-upon-a-time Constitutionally guaranteed personal freedoms and has pissed away TWO TRILLION FREAKIN’ DOLLARS; revenue that would’ve been far better spent on domestic programs to vastly improve Americans’ quality of life.

As bad as all of that already sounds, the repackaging and rebranding techniques, which served to refurbish W’s image, long ago, became canon within the Republican Party’s mucked up, political playbook.

You see, what those wranglers / spin doctors learnt during W’s Era, is that IF they could so readily groom an asshat, such as the ne’er-do-well George W. Bush; morph that imbecile into a pseudo conquering superhero, THEN such a coat of whitewash can also be easily slapped onto any subsequent, political wannabe stumblebum.

Case in point, in preparation for the 2024 Presidential Elections, image makeover (con) artists will be able to easily groom elitist Donald J. Trump; morph that insurrectionist fascist freak into a fake founding father figure.

Bottom lining it, George “Dubya” Bush’s negligence was, still is, and shall forever brand him the CAUSE of the EFFECT; better known as the War in Afghanistan! Dubya flat out owns that godforsaken debacle!

Had Dumbass Dubya properly and promptly reacted to his PDB’s dire warning and thwarted the 9/11 attacks, his pre-existing leadership vacuum would’ve never been strong enough to suck America into that two decades too long, no-win war! Hell, that war would’ve never even existed!

Regarding Bush’s dreadful character faults and deplorable deeds, be these mentioned above or not, on behalf of America, my heartfelt apology to all Afghans. I know what I’m about to type will be of no consolation to either you or me, but say it I must:

I never voted for him!

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Embattled Mixed Emotions

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As a pacifist, I concur with President Joe Biden’s decision to finally end George W. Bush’s ill-conceived War in Afghanistan; the projected exit date to fall on September 11, 2021; the 20th Anniversary of the NYC / DC / PA al-Qaeda attacks.

As a pragmatist, I know there’s little for the world to gain by America soldiering onward, endlessly, in that one specific war zone; especially considering how terrorism, by its very nature, knows no geopolitical boundaries; when new, terrorist training camps proliferate not unlike metastatic cancer cells; when any attempts at shutting them down is not unlike playing a bloody, deadly game of Whac-a-Mole.

As an ethicist, I also need to factor in the Pottery Barn, “You Break It, You Own It Rule”. Obviously, since W did his damnedest to break Afghanistan, unfortunately, that means that each of his presidential successors, have inherited the carnage. And, as such, there’s a moral and financial obligation to clean up all that W had mucked up.

The rub here is that when it comes down to any Wars on Terror, there are no easy exit strategies; as the reality of W’s nearly two decades long AND Russia’s one decade long no-win battles can both certainly attest to.

The problem began when brain dead W, in his futile attempt to “smoke out” Osama bin Laden, had resorted to boots on the ground overkill when, truth be told, a more refined, cogent approach would’ve sufficed; e.g. President Barack Obama’s deployment of the “United States Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team Six)” (quoted content copied / pasted from Google search).

Of course, that’s not to say there have been no gains within Afghanistan, in particular, we must consider the modest improvements re human rights; more specifically, women’s rights.

As an altruist, the very thought of the Taliban (or any other barbaric, moronic, misogynistic régime), muscling its way back into that embattled region is repugnant to me.

As a realist, I know that U.S. troops have been fighting no-win battles. So, how the hell could it ever be any different for the Afghani forces who will soon be left to fend for themselves?

As a kinda / sorta journalist, I find it absolutely unsettling to end a blog with a question, especially one that neither I nor anyone else can honestly answer in a hopeful manner. Long sigh.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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What’ll it be? Mar-a-Lago or Gitmo?

The coronavirus pandemic’s unbridled, stateside death toll, so far, stands at 311,000. Our condolences to their surviving, grieving families and friends.

Such human suffering and death did help determine which presidential candidate Americans voted for on November 3, 2020 and, by extension, did affect the December 14, 2020 Electoral College outcome; namely, Donald J. Trump “dropping out” and Joe Biden “graduating”.

Had Trump acted more promptly and proactively this past January, he could’ve plagiarized President Barack Obama’s pandemic playbook; would’ve delegated the implementation of those recommended, life saving, best practices to a trustworthy, learned leader; oh, say, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Seeing how the good doctor and his team would not have even needed the fake prez’s presence at all, Donny could’ve simply kept on playing golf and scarfing down megatonnage of fat saturated, fast food while binge watching his owned and operated, TV propaganda ministers; could’ve continued to get off on their freely dispensed, wildly inaccurate, undue accolades.

Shortly thereafter, all of Fauci’s diligence could’ve crowned Donny The Corona-V Conquering Superhero! Yep, the awash with unearned glory Donny could’ve then donned his Superman onesie / leotard and cape to swoop down upon the 2020 campaign trail; flown, swoosh, all across the nation (with an Air Force One assist?).

However, since he mucked up everything, instead, he promptly failed to earn Americans’ trust and, by extension, our votes. Ergo, he now attempts to disenfranchise tens of millions of voters; to illegally cast out legally cast ballots, And my being a lifelong Michigander, his ballot purge would be inclusive of burning up mine.

The mere notion that he’d ever have the gall to even try THAT pisses me off!

Well, we can be grateful that tyrant Trump’s attempted, post Election Day ballot box coup has also been pissing off the judges he’s been strong-arming; inclusive of his own appointees; most notably, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Oh, the sweet taste of Poetic Justice!

The very Justices, who Donny assumed he owned outright, have, twice, flat-out refused to become his co-conspirators; have all practically roared out “NYET!” to the impotent potentate’s all too real, seditious plot to dick up Democracy and take out the United States of America.

While these judges haven’t left Trump a legal leg to stand on, that does not, necessarily, mean that he’s fresh out of foul, illegal options. To flesh that out…

At some point, between now and Inauguration Day, via a mere Tweet, Trump could easily awaken his rightwing terrorist sleeper cells; e.g., order his radical Proud Boys, Wolverine Watchmen to go on a rampage. Once these asshole insurrectionists start to literally burn America down to the ground, he’d then have the (im)perfect excuse to declare Martial Law; to postpone Inauguration Day, indefinitely; to permanently install his shitty regime; to, in essence, flip off and say, “fuck off” to his self-proclaimed foe, the duly elected Joe Biden.

America’s fate would then depend upon how America’s generals would react to the stench of Donny’s Diarrhea; the obscene scene of Trump shitting all over America. Fortunately, the chances are fairly good that the top brass would instantly order legitimate American troops to engage and conquer Donny’s wind-up toy soldiers. In essence, as easy as all of us wipe our butts, they’d wipe these shitheads off the U.S. map. In the end, traitor Donald J. Trump would wind up trading off retirement at Mar-a-Lago for imprisonment at Gitmo!

We can only keep good thoughts that this Civil War battlefield never materializes; that such a scenario only gets projected within the theatre of the overly active imagination.

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Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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An Unconventional (NSFW?) Birthday Song

Admittedly, up until this clip’s 0:45 mark, I was uncertain whether Miss Laurie Lehner was heading rightward or leftward.

However, fear not. Once played back, in its entirety, you’ll be glad you stuck around.

True, singer / songwriter / satirist / muse Lehner’s lyrics are a tad NSFW but, when you really think about it, the actual obscenity is Birthday Boy Donny, himself. Owing to his ignorance / incompetence, he aided and abetted coronavirus, which, in turn, has now rendered the workplace, itself, NSFW.

Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Definition of Great (Sunday Song Series)

Who: Chancelor Johnathan Bennett a.k.a. Chance the Rapper
What: Performance of Sunday Candy
What: 94th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
What: The Obama Family’s Last White House Christmas
What: Commemorative Photo Album [View 14 Pics Here]
Where: Ellipse of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.,
When: December 1, 2016
When: When America Still Knew the Real Definition of Great
Why: To Herald the Holiday Season
Why: Because America may not make it to December 25, 2020
Why: Because millions of us miss America’s Last Real President
Why: To quote YouTuber Josh Jennings’ spot-on comment…

“I know this is a beautiful moment and politics ruins everything,
but god do I miss seeing a President that I actually respect.”

Well, that just about raps up… uh… wraps up Week #89 of our Sunday Song Series. If all goes well, let’s plan to meet back here for another Sunday titled song… 7 days from now…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The President of the United States of America!

Just to be perfectly clear, here…

My blog headline refers to President Barack Obama and ONLY President Barack Obama!

How great it is to, once again, hear from the Real President! His eloquence! His lucidity! His heady, heartfelt sentiments!

To best set up this clip…

Brian Tyler Cohen’s spot-on op-ed piece brilliantly juxtaposes clips of President Obama and the fake prez.

My brief op-ed…

DJT speaks of “flavor”? In actuality, “flavor” better describes that egomaniac’s (damned near always) in bad taste remarks. Remember, Cohen’s featured Trumpian extract is from a Coronavirus Task Force briefing… a governmental gathering that’s supposed to calm and reassure economically stricken and pandemic sickened people… to express heartfelt condolences to the hundreds of thousands of grieving families, worldwide.

When confronted by journalists’ questions… e.g. re campaign rallies… a Real President would’ve [1] graciously pointed out that this was not the venue to be discussing politics and [2] would’ve pointedly requested that all reporters stay focused on this ongoing, international crisis. Alas… that’s not what happened.

All I can add is…

Compare and contrast Obama’s compelling train of thought to Trump’s, insufferable, off the rails twaddle!

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking About King

 

On both of former President Barack Obama’s Inauguration Days, I felt a surge of pride… truly believed that We the People… who had finally flipped off America’s racist past… were now in the voting majority. As such, We were now destined to, forevermore, build upon the sturdy foundation of inclusiveness… best exemplified by Martin Luther King’s I’ve got a Dream Speech and Obama’s Change We Can Believe In.

Then came Inauguration Day 2017. The End.

And what will happen come Inauguration Day 2021?

Let’s consider this plausible sequence of events…

• The owned by Donald J. Trump, Senate Majority “Leader” Mitch McConnell and his right wing, underling legislators can all be counted on to never convict the impeached prez and, once bogusly exonerated and unduly emboldened. Donny will run amok and successfully run for reelection (due to his bff Vladimir Putin’s meddling and Electoral College math).

• With all 435 U.S. Representatives and 33 out of 100 U.S. Senators up for 2020 reelection, to rein in Trump, We would need to maintain a House Democratic majority AND establish a Senate super majority. But what would any of that even mean when we’ve seen how Trump already disses House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and defies all her attempts to hold him accountable? Hell, he’d just as easily flip off a Democratic Senate and do whatever he damned pleases.

• Since Trump has been swamp dredging to find nominees to load up the federal judiciary (inclusive of his two suck-up, SCOTUS cronies Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh), who’d ever rule against Donny? Again, he’d do as he damned pleases.

• Even if Trump loses his bid for re-election, the question then becomes, will he accept defeat? Will his sycophantic, barbaric, armed to the teeth, revolting supporters accept his defeat?

• The 78 days between Election Day and Inauguration Day could provide too damned much time for his goons to go on a bulldoze-America-down-to-rubble rampage (with Donny ecstatically and emphatically egging and cheering them on. He’d likely hole up in the White House and continue to do as he damned pleases.

Against that Trumpian nightmare backdrop… perhaps even inclusive of a Revolutionary War battlefield… how could We ever expect Martin Luther King’s impassioned pleas to ever blossom into a wide awake, American Dream come true?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 1

 

Five Decembers ago on the 14th… I first learned of the Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. My heart immediately sank. I could only imagine the ghastly horrors experienced by the traumatized student body and staff… how they were forced to endure watching a mentally disturbed individual so callously and casually blow away 20 young children and 6 educators.

My thoughts then turned to the grieving survivors…of how the families and friends of these victims would be undergoing a mourning process, made even more unbearable because of the close proximity of Christmas… a holiday that is all about families and friends.

In the days to follow, with the crime scene tape still fluttering in death’s icy wind, I naively thought…

Newtown has got to be the very tragedy that’s sure to trigger an open, honest discussion about gun control… one, which will break down that wildly partisan, stone-hearted, stone-headed Republican stonewall. What Republican would not FIRST see this as America’s wake-up call and NEXT be as publicly and visibly moved… perhaps even to the point of fighting back their own tears… the same way President Barack Obama had had to do.

Death is tough enough to accept but that gets compounded a zillionfold when we consider how 20 of the victims were innocent school kids… children who had not yet lived long enough to have seen more than 6 or 7 lit candles on their birthday cakes… how they’d been denied all the good things life has to offer… growing up, discovering their innate talents, joining our workaday world, falling in love, marrying and watching their own kids growing up.

This Christmas morn, I dusted off my family photo album to leaf through its old-school, black construction paper pages… to fondly reminisce over two Christmases past… the very years when I, too, had been age 6 and 7. Yep, there was my all-caught-up-in-the-holiday-spirit, younger self… my ear to ear grins, eyes wide with wonderment. Yeah… those had been the cherished Christmas mornings that, within my memory, have lasted all my life. I could feel my present day face recreating those same smiles… but not for long.

My thoughts now turn to this morning… to Newtown’s surviving, still mourning parents… of how their own photo albums have wound up with missing of photos, empty black pages… and will continue to do so.

December 14, 2017 came and went without so much as even one whisper of the Sandy Hook massacre by the new, so-called prez. To these survivors he would not even be deadpanning or Tweeting one of his patent pending, insincere, robotic, braindead, “You are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Far worse… well… let’s now quote Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son, Dylan, died at Sandy Hook Elementary School. From her Facebook post, which went viral… she justifiably lambastes Donald Trump…

 

“Not only did he ignore the five-year remembrance completely ― not even a single tweet ― he slapped us all in the face by having none other than NRA President Wayne LaPierre at his White House Christmas party that night. The appalling lack of humanity and decency has not gone unnoticed. While they ignorantly partied and remained uninformed on an issue that kills thousands of Americans every year, I was crying myself to sleep. While they got the chance to kiss their children goodnight, I kissed the urn holding my beautiful boy’s ashes.”

 

To be sure, the alleged prez has no need to fight off tears… for he has none to fight. True, his handler, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would likely spin this with her snotty, smarmy and sycophantic, Geeze what the hell is the big deal? What do ya want… blood? After all, this shooting incident did occur five long years ago.

To any such bullcrap, I’d counter…

 

“Oh yeah? Then how come I saw my eyes welling up this morning?”

 

During this new DC regime’s first year, we’ve seen even more massacres… to name two… Las Vegas and Texas… the latter one involving a church… A CHURCH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! Yet, even mass murder’s blood stained, stained glass locales have yet to trigger that sorely needed, open, honest discussion about gun control… have failed to prod the infantile minded powers-that-be to take even the first baby steps towards keeping guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people… to cure American society of its gun sickness.

I realize my tough talk may’ve bummed some folks out this holiday morn. But… long sigh… any momentary depression I may’ve caused you would pale in comparison to the lifetime of grief and sorrow which the Sandy Hook massacre survivors will be forced to endure. If there are any doubters amongst my readers, just scroll up to re-read Nicole Hockley’s eloquently stated, spot-on words.

We must never forget there are countless survivors of countless other mass shootings, too. And what about those shootings that fly under the media radar because of what? Too few deaths? As if what? One person dying isn’t enough to warrant coverage? Folks, the day society becomes jaded to the point where every such death does not move us… well… long sigh… that is the death of said, sad society.

Getting back to the music… I fully and freely admit that my featured Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas Song #1, Christmas In Heaven, is not the feel good music that will paint smiles on the faces of decent folks… but until indecent, NRA propped up politicians are cured of their sociopathy, corruption, avarice, lust for power and gun sickness… we really don’t have much to smile about… now do we?

 

Read related article HERE

 

The Not Ready For Primetime (or any other time) Régime

The good news… TV ratings for NBC’s Saturday Night Live are up… way up. Nielson reports 10.6 million have been tuning in regularly… that figure representing an increase in viewership of 2 million.

The bad(?) news… SNL primarily owes its success to Alec Baldwin lampooning a downright failure of a man.

The worst(?) part… the butt of their jokes is paying far more attention to what’s happening within SNL’s studio 8H in Manhattan than… well… pretty much whatever else is going on in the rest of the world.

Is that totally bad?

No. Each and every time #45 is overreacting / going berserk on Twitter he’s also frittering away his four year term… meaning less time for him to FUBAR our global economy, ecology and society.

Of course, what those key problem areas do need the most is the positive, proactive attention and actions of a real leader… an empathetic, ethical, focused, genuine intellect… such as former President Barack Obama.

Of course, #45 is not such a man. NOPE, he could never live up to those presidential qualifications. Ergo, it’s just as well that he’s got his eyes glued to his TV every Saturday at 11:30 p.m.… is obsessing over and bouncing off the walls whenever SNL’s brilliant political satirists effortlessly get under his thin skin.

Yet, one cannot help but wonder…

If SNL elected to never lampoon #45 / his régime again, would that upset him even more?

A Must See and Hear New Year 2017 Blogcast

As 2016 winds down, I want to sincerely thank all who’ve been spending their precious time reading my blogs and listening to my blogcasts. I also want to welcome and thank anyone new to my blog site on this holiday night.

Those who know me are likely already aware that I’m feeling serious doubts and dread regarding the régime change slated to take place in America a scant 20 days from now.

On this last night of 2016… perhaps one of the last nights in America and our world… you can thank the confidence inspiring, lingering influence of President Barack Obama for calming me and, in turn, sparing you from my blogging more extensively along those gloomy lines.

Suffice to say… if I had the power, I’d snap my fingers to cure all my nation’s ills… all of our world’s ills.

Needless to say… I don’t… so it’s on to the music.

Admittedly, your first reaction to my plans to play Auld Lang Syne three times might be “Isn’t that a bit monotonous?”

Not really… you see I’m presenting a diverse mix of stellar recording artists and showcasing the inexhaustible creativity of YouTube videographers, who’ve enhanced their productions with historical footage and (in the case of my lead video) included some powerful thought evoking poetry.

A brief excerpt from that poem (read full poem here)…

New Year’s Prayer by Charlotte Anselmo

Please give the leaders of our world
A courage born of peace
That they might lead us gently
And all the fighting cease.

 

Well… here’s where our magical, musical journey into 2017 begins…

For those of you facing time constraints… perhaps some New Year’s Eve party hearty plans… if you play just one video… stick to the very first. Beyond that…

Have fun tonight! For those who wind up buzzed on booze and/or on other substances, be sure to have a place to sleep it off OR call a cab OR have a sober, designated driver within your circle of friends.

Wishing you the happiest, healthiest, most prosperous 2017 possible!

 

Sissel ~ Auld Lang Syne

Dougie MacLean ~ Auld Lang Syne (Remembering Those Who Left Us In 2016)

Kenny G ~ Auld Lang Syne (20th Century Images)

If you liked my blogcast, I’ll see you back here on February 1, 2017 (if not sooner)…