Beginning with Presidents Day, this week might well turn Zeitgeist's attention to the international arena, and wars past, present and to come. On Monday MSNBC premieres a documentary on the presidential-level lies that promoted the Iraq war. According to its narrator, Rachel Maddow, it will ruffle some political feathers. Those same feathers are already in tatters, after an ugly barnyard brawl with Chuck Hagel.
The unprecedented filibuster stalling the new Secretary of Defense from taking office, and preventing him from accompanying the President to an important international conference this week, is definitely part of this mix. The GOPer Senate filibuster, led by the permanently confused John McCain and the ever more craven Lindsay "Cracker" Graham, seemed like just another moronic inferno--continuous blather about issues that appointee Chuck Hagel had nothing to do with or will never set policy on, while neglecting to even try to find out if he can do the actual job of defense secretary. But Josh Marshall at TPM makes a very interesting case that this is all still about Iraq and to a lesser extent Afghanistan, and the warmongering foreign policy those wars represented. It's the neocon's last hurrah.
"Basically everything Barack Obama has done since coming into office has been to unwind the thicket of commitments, practices and open wars begun under George W. Bush. People who don’t know the policies and the agendas in detail can miss this," Marshall writes. But the neocons know exactly what's going on, and they don't like it--they especially don't like that Republican Chuck Hagel agrees with this dismantling, and said so even while Bush Lite was in office.
The American people are so far past this that President Obama's announcement in the State of the Union that half the troops still in Afghanistan would be home by year's end didn't even make much news. But the neanderthalic neocons don't care. They have security consultants and gun manufacturers to feed, and their carefully cultivated mad voters' buttons to push. But they're losing. So they weaken their own country's defense and international standing, just to express their pique.
These are the guys responsible for thousands of deaths, billions of wasted dollars, immense human suffering and more than a decade of awful displacement of the energy and attention needed to save the planet. No wonder they're reacting like terribly guilty criminals.
But at least they're not going out with another bang. Just with an ugly whimper.
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