oops, link now attached. Re-post: Cold Turkey

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by st8_o_mind, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. st8_o_mind
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    st8_o_mind Guest

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    Here's the essay again, link attached. My apologies.

    It was written by Kurt Vonnegut this year. Vonnegut, in addition to be an author, is a veteran of WWII and former POW in Germany.

    Vonnegut ridicules the notion that the U.S. led invasion of is bringing democracy to Iraq, arguing that the invasion is to fuel our addiction to oil.

    It doesn't seem to me that we invaded Iraq solely to get our hands on the oil. It is a hell of a lot less expensive in blood and money to just buy the oil than it is to invade. On the other hand, why haven't we invaded Burma? Because they don't have oil? Or is it that we have no compelling strategic interest in Burma?

    I tend to come down on the "strategic interests" side, which includes stability in oil markets, democracy building, concerns about neighboring Iran, ability to project force in the region, and the inability to maintain the international support for the sanctions regime.

    I think the left wing mantra that we invaded for oil, as well as the right wing mantra that we invaded to bring democracy to Iraq are both equally naive in their simplicity.

    Why do you all think we really invaded Iraq?



    http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0512-13.htm

    My government’s got a war on drugs. But get this: The two most widely abused and addictive and destructive of all substances are both perfectly legal.

    One, of course, is ethyl alcohol. And President George W. Bush, no less, and by his own admission, was smashed or tiddley-poo or four sheets to the wind a good deal of the time from when he was 16 until he was 41. When he was 41, he says, Jesus appeared to him and made him knock off the sauce, stop gargling nose paint.

    Other drunks have seen pink elephants.

    And do you know why I think he is so pissed off at Arabs? They invented algebra. Arabs also invented the numbers we use, including a symbol for nothing, which nobody else had ever had before. You think Arabs are dumb? Try doing long division with Roman numerals.

    We’re spreading democracy, are we? Same way European explorers brought Christianity to the Indians, what we now call “Native Americans.”

    How ungrateful they were! How ungrateful are the people of Baghdad today.

    So let’s give another big tax cut to the super-rich. That’ll teach bin Laden a lesson he won’t soon forget. Hail to the Chief.

    That chief and his cohorts have as little to do with Democracy as the Europeans had to do with Christianity. We the people have absolutely no say in whatever they choose to do next. In case you haven’t noticed, they’ve already cleaned out the treasury, passing it out to pals in the war and national security rackets, leaving your generation and the next one with a perfectly enormous debt that you’ll be asked to repay.

    Nobody let out a peep when they did that to you, because they have disconnected every burglar alarm in the Constitution: The House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the FBI, the free press (which, having been embedded, has forsaken the First Amendment) and We the People.

    About my own history of foreign substance abuse. I’ve been a coward about heroin and cocaine and LSD and so on, afraid they might put me over the edge. I did smoke a joint of marijuana one time with Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, just to be sociable. It didn’t seem to do anything to me, one way or the other, so I never did it again. And by the grace of God, or whatever, I am not an alcoholic, largely a matter of genes. I take a couple of drinks now and then, and will do it again tonight. But two is my limit. No problem.

    I am of course notoriously hooked on cigarettes. I keep hoping the things will kill me. A fire at one end and a fool at the other.

    But I’ll tell you one thing: I once had a high that not even crack cocaine could match. That was when I got my first driver’s license! Look out, world, here comes Kurt Vonnegut.

    And my car back then, a Studebaker, as I recall, was powered, as are almost all means of transportation and other machinery today, and electric power plants and furnaces, by the most abused and addictive and destructive drugs of all: fossil fuels.

    When you got here, even when I got here, the industrialized world was already hopelessly hooked on fossil fuels, and very soon now there won’t be any more of those. Cold turkey.

    Can I tell you the truth? I mean this isn’t like TV news, is it?

    Here’s what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.

    And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we’re hooked on.

    © 2004 In These Times
     
  2. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Which member was it that compared Newsmax to Nazi propaganda?
     
  3. NightTrain
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    NightTrain VIP Member

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    Why, MB, are you insinuating that CommonDreams isn't a rock solid, impartial site?? :eek:

    I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop with another gem from Moveon. I can feeeel it coming.
     
  4. MtnBiker
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    :laugh: How hypocritical for someone to drag in a Nazi propaganda comparison then use commondreams as a source. :rolleyes:
     
  5. st8_o_mind
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    The banner at the Common Dreams website reads: "Breaking News and Views for the Progressive Community" It's right on the Banner.

    Likewise, Moveon.org is a progressive advocacy organization and is clear about its intent.

    Newsmax is a conservative advocacy organization that pretends to be an objective news source. I'll add that there is a difference between posting an opinion or essay, versus newsmax which has a well-documented history of distorting the news.
     
  6. MtnBiker
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    Progressive is code for very liberal.
     
  7. NightTrain
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    I would think that a liberal, of all people, would know that Progressive = Liberal.
     
  8. Annie
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    And I seriously consider those credentials everytime I visit those sites.

     
  9. dilloduck
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    Thanks St8----Vonnegut has always been one of my favorite authors and I've read all of his books. I started reading him in 1970 (Cats' Cradle). He has criticized governments in nearly every one of them and does it in a hilarious black humor manner. I hope he continues to write and criticize. ( he is wise to stay on the sidelines and criticize--you have all your material free , you don't get caught up in the mess and you make more money). Is he interested in coming up with a reasonable idea to improve government? I'm waiting for him to write about it.
     
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