The Rude Guy Podcast #70 August 11, 2010
Rich Zubaty the Rude Guy, having a great day, because I finally have some new heroes to admire. They’re not giants like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr, but, in a depressing era of posers and frauds, they are true heroes. To me a hero has to be both smart and brave. Smart without brave and you get Barack Obama, or Dick Cheney. Brave without smart and you get just about every U.S. soldier who is on the ground in Afghanistan. If you’re so smart, what’re ya doin’ there soldier? Quit before you die. We need you back home… But my new heroes are both smart and brave. And one of them IS a soldier.
My new heroes are Julian Assange, who founded Wikileaks. And Bradley Manning, the soldier who allegedly leaked, to Wikileaks, the video of the Apache helicopter cannon fire murder, by high tech video game, of two Reuters reporters and 18 innocent bystanders. Plus severely wounding two young kids.
Private First Class Bradley Manning, a 22 year old intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq, has been moved from a military jail in Kuwait, to the Marine Corps Base Brig, in Quantico, Virginia. Here’s what I got off his web site:
Manning remains in pretrial confinement pending an Article 32 investigation into the charges lodged against him on July 5. Manning was transferred because of the potential for lengthy continued pretrial confinement, given the complexity of the charges, and the ongoing investigation… And so forth.
Bradley Manning is facing decades in prison for doing the right goddam thing, and even me, with my ridiculous financial situation, sent his legal defense fund ten bucks off a credit card. It made me feel good to do that. Much better than buying a pizza. I recommend it to everybody.
And then there’s Julian Assange…who’s a hunted man! Living underground…somewhere. Nobody knows where. If the U.S. government could figure out some way to destroy him, and his organization, without creating an international outcry, they would do it in a second. Which is why it’s important that his name is known, and his work is known. As Abbie Hoffman said during the anti-Vietnam police riots, at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, more or less: “as long as the cameras are on you, you’re OK. It’s the people who are off camera who the cops’ll beat up. But when the cameras get turned off…look out.”
This guy Assange is brave. Really really brave. Even Seymour Hersh, the New York Times reporter who broke the My Lai massacre story, told Assange, quote, “watch…your…back”. Assange is finally getting some safe harbor in Iceland and Sweden, but he has been living on the run, on the constant move, for a year or more. “Watch your back bro.”
Last week he released 76,000 documents which are mostly U.S. military field reports from Afghanistan. What I now call: Vietnamistan. Vietnamistan.
Within hours of the release of these documents the White House, Fox News, and the major media were all telling us nothing new was revealed. Nothing new? Really?
What about the fact that the same type of shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, that we gave to the Afghans, to shoot down Russian helicopters, are now being used by the Afghans against us, to shoot down our own helicopters. Doesn’t that seem a little fucked up to anybody in the media? In nine years I’ve never heard that reported in the news. We were told that our helicopters were occasionally being brought down by lucky shots from grenade launchers or small arms fire. Not Stinger missiles. You lying assholes. And useless news organizations.
Or how about the fact that a group of Polish soldiers made a mortar attack on a wedding party, in revenge, for an attack made against them, earlier in the week. This is going to win the hearts and minds of Afghanis? Attacking wedding parties?
Then there was the incident in Kunduz province in 2005 involving German troops, which almost brought down the German government, when it was thoroughly investigated by German news media…Two NATO gasoline tank trucks were stolen by somebody, but they got stuck in the mud. The local Afghanis descended on the trucks with cans and bottles to get free gas. German NATO soldiers called in a U.S. air strike and, according to the Der Spiegel report, 142 local villagers were blown to hamburger, and flame-broiled in exploding gas. The German Defense minister tried to cover up that slaughter, was outed, and resigned over the fiasco.
However…in the good old USSA…and this is a hell of a however. This is the kind of however that you cannot refute within hours of receiving the Wikileaks report. HOWEVER…the U.S. field report leaked by Wikileaks claimed that 56 Taliban were killed in that air strike. In reality 142 villagers were murdered, but our official U.S. Army field report claimed 56 Taliban were killed. Fuck those lying assholes. That’s a war crime, and it should be investigated as such.
You know what this means? It means that all of our field reports from Vietnamistan are suspect. Every single one of them is a potential lie. No one can go through all seventy thousand of them in a few hours and pronounce them all to be old news.
You know what else it means. It means that all the information Barrack Obama used to make his heady policy decisions about the war, was based on lies. Lies cooked up in the field. Lies cooked up by guys trying to make themselves look good and get their asses promoted the fuck out of there.
I went through all this bullshit before, with Vietnam. Back then it was called “Body Counts”. After fighting that war for 7 years, if you added up all the reports of all the enemies killed in action, you ended up with a total bodycount that was more than the entire population of North Vietnam. Men, women and children. It was all lies and bullshit. And because Barack Obama is ignorant. And because he is naive. And because he has spent more time playing golf in the first year and a half of his presidency, than George W Bush spent playing golf in his entire presidency, Obama’s Vietnamistan War policy doesn’t add up. It’s a mess. He doesn’t do his homework. He plays golf, watches TV sports, and takes weekend trips instead. He doesn’t question authority. Relying on the military to tell us whether there should be more war, is like asking a class of second graders if there should be free candy at lunchtime.
Within hours of the Wikileaks release, Obama went on TV and made the outrageous statement that, quote “These documents don’t reveal any issues that haven’t already informed our public debate on Afghanistan.” Unquote. If that’s true, I want him impeached. If he knew all this and still went ahead with tripling the troops, I want him impeached. He’s incompetent or morally crippled…or both. This is the guy who got elected on the slogan: I don’t wanna just end these wars. I want to end the mindset that got us into war. Then end it asshole.
But I don’t think he knew what was really going on, on the ground. I think he’s too dumb. I think he just took the word of the generals. He has no business being commander in chief of the deadliest army the world has ever known. He is turning us into an international clown act. The deadliest army in history, from the most powerful nation in history, cannot defeat some bearded guys with rifles and pickup trucks… We’re a globalized laughing stock. Huge armies cannot win guerilla wars. So add this to your mindset: Go the fuck home.
But what did we hear next from the White House? Are they going to start an immediate investigation into the lying army field reports? Are they going to investigate the circumstances in which 20,000 Afghan men, women and children, were murdered by our storm troopers? Murdered in their houses, while they slept, during night raids by our anti-terrorist assassination, task forces? Fuck no. They’re going to start an immediate investigation to find the leaker. They’re not going to launch an investigation into the lies, so baldly revealed in the leaked documents, and upon which this foolish war is based. They are going to run like attacks dogs to find the leaker. Fuck this administration. Fuck Barack Obama. I’ve had it. The man has his head up his ass. He should be impeached. He is NOT going to change. The lightbulb is NOT going to suddenly go on inside his head. He doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he’s listening to other people who do not know what they’re doing. This is not the best and the brightest? This is the dumbest and numbest, the chicken hawks and sell-outs. Night-stalking Zombies of Ambition.
We need a strong candidate to run against Obama in the 2012 Democratic primary. I have never voted Republican in my life and I’m not going to start now. I voted for Nader in the past, and have never for one second regretted it. Nader is the only other hero I’ve had in my lifetime who should have been president. Who was really really qualified to be president. In 2000 I was supposed to vote for Gore and Lieberman. Joe Lieberman! Are you out of your minds? Two arch conservative military/corporate Democrats? Fuck that. We need someone to run against Obama. In the primary. A leftist to pull him to the left. Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich come immediately to mind. And Ralph Nader of course. Maybe Alan Grayson? Somebody has to do it.
Here is what former CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman has to say about Obama’s Bungled War Strategies. Quote.
President Obama does not have the experience to manage the daunting challenge (of war). He had scant background in foreign policy, military policy and defense expenditures. Nor did he have much knowledge about the major players in these fields.
As a result of these shortcomings, the President assembled a national security team, for most of the wrong reasons. He made his two major national security appointments for domestic political reasons. Sez me: He played politics with war!
Hillary Clinton was made Secretary of State to build bridges to her wing of the Democratic Party, following a nasty political campaign, and to head off any Clinton reprisals. George W. Bush’s Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, was retained, as a sop to “bipartisanship”, and to conservative Republicans.
The Gates appointment was particularly damaging because it demonstrated deference to the Pentagon’s power structure, instead of the civilians in the Defense Department and State Department.
Gates and another Bush favorite, General David Petraeus, have emerged as the leading voices on national security policy. Their strength is magnified by the weakness and disunity of other senior officials, on Obama’s national security team.
For instance, Official Washington and the corporate media have hailed Obama’s choice of Petraeus, to replace General Stanley McChrystal, as commander in charge of the Afghan War. Yet, this move also has increased the power of the Pentagon to override any deadline for troop withdrawal, from the nation’s longest war.
Neither Petraeus, nor his bosses (Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen), have accepted Obama’s notion of a deadline, to begin significant withdrawals of U.S. troops next summer…Now, given the messy circumstances of McChrystal’s firing, Petraeus is virtually untouchable.
Sez me: And let’s not forget, in Afghanistan there are also approximately 104,000 U.S.-paid private military contractors. They are providing armed security, intelligence analysis, program management, engineering, and technical support for program offices; and data and analysis on which government officials base their decisions on awarding further contracts. These are sensitive jobs that are supposed to be done by government employees. Not mercenary contractors, working for profit with no effective oversight. I want THEIR logs leaked to Wikileaks too.
Sez Goodman: The new emphasis on counterinsurgency, counterterrorism and so-called “stability operations,” will actually create opportunities for new military deployments overseas, in other countries. There is no end in sight to this spending, unless Obama finds a new toughness to freeze the defense budget and stop force expansion.
But instead of the needed firmness, President Obama has contributed to the militarization of overall national security policy, by appointing general officers to key positions, that should have been in the hands of civilians. These appointments include the national security adviser; the intelligence tsar; ambassadors to such key states as Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia; and a mediator for Sudan. They all should have been civilians, not generals.
Meanwhile, there has been no attempt to reverse the militarization of the intelligence community, which includes the Pentagon’s near total control, over the intelligence budget and personnel.
The State Department should be the major counter to the Defense Department, but Foggy Bottom has not had a strong leader since James Baker was the steward for foreign policy, two decades ago. The department has been in decline ever since, particularly during the last five years under Condoleeza Rice and now Hillary Clinton.
Rice had contempt for the Foreign Service; Clinton talks a much better game, but has surrounded herself with congressional and personal aides, who have little knowledge of foreign policy, and little political clout in this administration. Sez me: Basically Hillary’s still running for president surrounded by her old henhouse feminist cronies.
The intelligence community is in particular turmoil, and no longer serves as a check and balance to the Pentagon….This situation opens the door, to a return to politicized intelligence, as analysts grow fearful of contradicting the claims made by senior officials. Instead of intelligence analysis informing policy, the danger is that policymakers will stake out positions, and then expect the intelligence analysts to fall into line supporting them. Remember Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq?
Inside the CIA, the appointment of a weak CIA director, Leon Panetta, has left in place many of the operational ideologues, who were responsible for secret prisons, abusive interrogations, torture and renditions. Obama has contributed to a continuation of the old ways.
President Obama will lack a handle on this deteriorating national security situation, until he realizes that Afghanistan is not central to the terrorism threat against the United States, and that the stability of Pakistan is far more important to U.S. security in South and Southwest Asia. Sez me: And that by driving the Afghani Taliban into Pakistan we are destabilizing Pakistan! Fucking morons. When we leave Afghanistan the Taliban go home and the threat to Pakistan virtually evaporates.
Sending more troops and resources into Afghanistan does not begin to address the threat of international terrorism, and no amount of economic assistance to Pakistan will buy support from Islamabad. Unquote.
So sez: Melvin A. Goodman, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, and adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University, who spent 42 years with the CIA, the National War College, and the U.S. Army. His latest book is titled: Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.
I quoted from his article entitled: Obama’s Bungled Military Strategies, Part III; published online at Truthout.Org, on Thursday July 8, 2010
A listener just emailed me a picture of a new bumper sticker that kind of sums up everything I’ve just said. It says: McBama…. McBama…same crap, different pile
And then there’s Iraq. Which I now call Koree-istan. Korea in the Middle East. We’ve been in Korea for 60 years, and so will we be in Iraq. I’m thrilled Obama is drawing down our troops there. We are only leaving 50,000 American fighting men and women behind. 13,000 more than we’ve kept in Korea. But in Iraq there are also about 114,000 Department of Defense private contractors. And… Hillary Clinton wants 7000 more armed private security contractors to guard our NEW U.S. embassy in Baghdad. 7000. Worldwide we only employ 4000 armed security contractors, to guard every other embassy we have, in almost every other country on earth. But we will have nearly twice that many in Iraq alone. Why? Oil. Why? Because we built an embassy in Iraq as big as 80 football fields. A city within a city. Keeping in mind, that according to international convention, a foreign embassy is regarded as the sacred native soil of that country. It’s a safe zone. A city of refuge. Some CIA mad man assassin spy, crawls through the gates of the U.S. embassy, and suddenly he’s on U. S. soil, and the Iraqi government cannot touch him.
How about if the Iraqis built an embassy in Manhattan that was as big as 80 football fields and employed 7000 machine-gun toting al Qaeda desert fighters to guard it. Would that be OK?
We are leaving behind a destroyed country. Though we’re not actually leaving it at all. The Iraqis say that life was better under Saddam. Keeping in mind, under Saddam you got your tongue cut out for saying something bad about the government…and still the Iraqi people say life was better then. Oil production is less now than it was under Saddam, which means there’s no money. Electricity production, which used to be almost constant under Saddam, is now sporadic and unpredictable. People are afraid to go out of their houses looking for clean water and cooking kerosene. Civil War is all around them, to say nothing of the chance of getting blown to catfood by American Apache helicopters. Iraq is no more stable today than it was the day Obama took office, but he and his political iguanas played this timetable out, to be able to pull a political rabbit out of his hat, just in time for the midterm elections. It stinks to high heaven. Playing politics with war.
Barack Obama is a brown-skinned guy who sold his soul to military/corporate power, decades ago. He became their well-paid lackey and their silver-tongued spokesman. And because of his crass sell-out, he became our president. Julian Assange is a white-skinned, white-haired guy, who invented something out of nothing, in the backyard of his mind. A website devoted to whistle blowers all over the world. A place where the people of the world, who have become disgusted by the gap, between what the organization they work for says it does, and what it REALLY does…he created a place where these people can come anonymously, to post their rage and guilt and disgust. So Assange has jammed his fist up the ass of the military/corporate establishment, and military/corporate sell-out Obama is hunting him down for doing it.
Who’s the real hero here?
Sez Julian Assange: courage begets MORE revelations. Courage begets MORE courage. What a guy! His courage, and his web site, are leading the peace makers forward.
Some say that Julian Assange should get the Nobel Peace Prize! Now wouldn’t that be justice, since Obama got it last time around, then reinvaded Afghanistan!
But the real heroes are the military leakers who are leaking documents so fast, Wikileaks can’t even keep up with them – they have a six month backlog of leaks from the soldiers, who are brave enough to risk their freedom, telling the truth about a war they didn’t sign on for, and cannot in good conscience, condone. According to one soldier from Fort Hood, Texas, on a recent World Can’t Wait webcast, the Wikileaks collateral murder Apache helicopter video is making other active duty soldiers think: “hmm, maybe I should leak that video I’ve got?”.
And the grunts rah rah high school version of history is being thrown over the side too. According to this soldier “No War but the Class War” is a poster that has resonated with soldiers at Fort Hood. It’s a wider geopolitical perspective, a grander world view, that they are hungry for. Just like the Russian White soldiers, who quit and joined the Reds, in 1917. They don’t want to enlarge their officer’s portfolios. They don’t want to die for capitalist greed. “No War but the Class War”. That’s what they’ll fight for.
www.underthehoodcafe.org is where you soon should be able to find links to Fort Hood soldiers, who are planning direct action to oppose an upcoming scheduled deployment to Iraq. www.underthehoodcafe.org from Fort Hood Texas.
And also, there you can learn something about the history of soldiers actively sabotaging war, going back to Vietnam. Here’s an excerpt:
As early as mid-1969 an entire company of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, publicly sat down on the battlefield. Later that year, another rifle company, from the famed 1st Air Cavalry Division, flatly refused – on CBS TV – refused to advance down a dangerous booby-trapped trail…my own recollection is that, two different combat companies, one after the other, flat-out refused deployment into Cambodia. Just simply refused. Shortly after that, President Nixon announced the new policy of “Vietnamization” – basically turning everything over to South Vietnam – and direct American combat operations came to an end, within a year. That’s how a war ends. When soldiers refuse to fight. When soldiers derail the mad engine of war.
And that’s who should get the Nobel peace prize. The soldiers leaking to Wikileaks. Wars will only stop when the soldiers stop fighting them. That’s REAL bravery. As one of the Fort Hood activists said: Instead of making truth a casualty of war…it’s time to make war a casualty of truth.
OK, time for another fan email from my very interesting and informative listeners. This one from a young Vietnamese man born in Australia, after his parents fled Vietnam in the wake of the U.S. collapse.
Hi Rich, Just a quick intro, my name is Anthony Vu, I’m 27 and live in Australia and work as a paraplanner in a bank. That’s right a bank… yes I absolutely hate working for a bank. I hate what they represent. According to my superiors, I apparently lack passion. But then again, how the hell do you become passionate with work, when your work is about ripping off mums and dads. I initially wanted to be a financial planner, as I thought it was a role where you can help people with their lives. How gullible I was. Then I realized it was really about making people buy financial products, they don’t really need. I personally couldn’t do that, and rip people off in front of their face. Instead I have to be a chicken shit, and seep as low as helping financial planners rip people off, while I hide in the back office.
…Anyways I thought I should email you just so that you can keep going with your podcasts. And just to let you know I do listen. I have also bought and read your book “What men know that women don’t”. I have never been able to read a book from cover to cover, but your book was the first for me. You are very articulate and I hope when I reach your age I will be just as wise as you. (bless you Anthony. I hope you’re a lot wiser, than me by then.) The things in your book were exactly the same things I’ve seen with my own eyes, I was just never able to express those things the way you do. I’ve even made my girlfriend read the book, even though she has said she threw it against the wall a few times. Ha ha ha ha (yeah she couldn’t Finish it). Your books and your podcasts are a real good wake up call for anyone listening. The only sad thing about your work is, the things you preach will never be used in higher levels of government, due to the greed of all those feminised people. I’m sure you know this, but my point is that you should continue on, and leave as much of a legacy as possible. (Wow. Leave as much of a legacy as possible. Tall order, Anthony.) The best you can do to help change this world is to do the best you can do. Keep podcasting. Keep writing those books. Just keep on doing it as I’m sure people do listen…Your work is greatly appreciated. Yours sincerely Anthony
………..from his next email
Funny enough, I heard your pod cast first, before I bought the book. (Great news. That’s WHY I make the podcast.) I was looking for something interesting to listen to on the way to work, and there is literally nothing out there. A lot of jibberish out there is being communicated, plenty of waste. I was literally going through every pod cast out there about anything, and just randomly happened to stumble upon yours. Thank God.
Yeah I really hate American-led wars. (this from a kid whose parents escaped Vietnam by the skin of their chinny chin chins, on a small leaky boat) It is soo fucked up, especially from an Australian viewpoint. We have a large contingent of Aussie troops there, fighting an unwinable war. And only recently has the government told us they will be staying there…and not only that, we will be committing more troops there. Why? Because Australia is a USA lap dog. Why are we still a country so reliant on the US? The saddest part is that there was little objection from people here, and it had so little coverage in the media, which I’m guessing is due to the low Aussie kill count.
No clue why I’m telling you this, I’m just pissed off with alot of things in the world.
Anyways, as promised, I donated some coin your way, to keep the podcast going. I personally hope you never stop, as every podcast you do provides me with more education than any other school could.
God Bless you. Guys like you keep me going.
If you like this show, email me. So I hear about it. So I muster the good cheer to keep on going. firstname.lastname@example.org …and maybe I’ll even read some of your thoughts on the air…
and visit my website too: happyfool.ORG
Blessings to one and all,