Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Vote for Hillary Clinton to continue these Bush-Obama policies

Vote for Hillary Clinton to continue these Bush-Obama policies:

Eternal, undeclared, illegal, aggressive war. In Libya, Syria, Iraq, Mali, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Chad, Somalia, Nigeria, Philippines, Honduras, and Yemen. Universal surveillance. General Warrants. Secret courts. National Security Letters. Endless imprisonment without trial or charge. Effective abolition of the writ of habeas corpus, notwithstanding that it is in the US Constitution Article I, Section 9. Black sites. Rendition. Special Ops death squads. Assassination of US citizens without trial or charge. Including juveniles. Robot bombs sent to assassinate more than 2,000 civilians so far in neutral countries with which we are not at war. Mercantilist trade policies such as TTIP, TPP, NAFTA. Okay, Hillary was for TPP and helped write it, until she was suddenly against it a few months ago. Fracking. Bailing out Wall Sreet, AIG to the tune of $318 thousand million dollars, then also bailing out big banks like Citi, who were already re-insured by AIG. But Obama could not find $20 billion to bail out Detroit’s pension funds, nor $60 million for public works to replace all the lead pipes in Flint.

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

30 March, 2016 Posted by | election, eternal war, hypocrisy, media, politics, scanlyze, US, USA, war | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A response to Ron Suarez’ A New Ann Arbor City Council Resolution to End the War in Iraq?

A response to Ron Suarez’ A New Ann Arbor City Council Resolution to End the War in Iraq?

Note: the antiwar resolution mentioned on Ron’s site was passed by the Ann Arbor City Council in March, 2007.

Ron said:

I received this request from Michigan Peaceworks to support a new Ann Arbor City Council resolution that would hopefully push Congress to bring an end to the war in Iraq…

Here is their [Michigan Peaceworks] Proposed wording for a City Council Resolution:

We urge Congress to move in a bi-partisan way to address war policies in the Middle East. The United States now spends more on military defense than all other nations combined, but the world is less safe than when we embarked on our present policies. It is time for Congress to provide leadership by:

* re-establishing its on-going, joint authority with the President over war powers and war expenditures
* using Congressional appropriations authority to protect our troops by establishing conditions for their mobilization and deployment, conditions and time-lines for their return home, and needed assistance to veterans of our recent wars
* providing international humanitarian leadership
* developing a humanitarian budget to meet non-military needs of the worlds’ people, including our own
* using Congressional oversight to help strengthen international cooperation in peace-building

…But, I could use help identifying other government officials who could use a nudge in the correct direction.

John Dingell, D-MI

John Dingell. He often wears red.

His recent antiwar resolution, HR 3938 sounds good at first in that it reportedly withdraws the use of force authorization. The full text was not yet on Thomas when I wrote this. But the 2009 timeframe is too long. And this is a political cover for Dingell in that it distracts from what matters, which is his votes for the appropriations for the wars. Dingell’s resolution won’t pass both houses, and if it did it would be vetoed. He knows that.

If a majority of the House would refuse any more defense authorizations the war would end. Soon. Maybe some mainline Democrats want the war to continue. It is good for the business of the people who give them money. One hopes Dingell would not be in this category.

We need to focus in the short term on amending or defeating war appropriations. Resolutions like the proposed council resolution and HR 3938 give political cover to mainline Democrats who feel pressure from an increasingly frustrated public. But they don’t end the war. They give it political cover to continue.

What does Peaceworks mean that Congress should “move in a bi-partisan way?” Isn’t that kind of like a three-legged sack race? Seriously are the Democrats supposed to wait to defund the war until the Republicans turn into a pro-peace, anti-war party? This is a poor idea at best.

The Peaceworks resolution’s reference to “joint authority” between the president and Congress over “war spending and war powers” is inaccurate. The Constitution reserves these powers to Congress alone.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; ….

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; …

US Constitution, Article I, Section 8

The president is an executive of the People, who acting through their Legislature, make the laws and raise taxes. We rely on the President to obey and fairly enforce the laws, not to ignore, make, or break them. The president is not a sovereign. Bush is not “King (or warlord) of America”.

We oppose:

HR 2638: Making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes, in committee.

HR 2642: Making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes
, in committee.

HR 3222: Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes, resolving differences.

And we need to oppose any more continuing resolutions like Democratic sponsored H.J.RES.52: Making continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 2008, and for other purposes, which Bush signed September 29, 2007.

Bush and the House and Senate Democrats like Dingell and Stabenow are pretending to disagree over the war to appeal to their base constituencies, while they are collaborating in continuing to fund it. I don’t have the same issue with Carl Levin, he and John Rockefeller have been fighting very hard behind closed doors on the war, concentration camps, and surveillance issues for a long time now.

What’s the cost to the citizen? Tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead; Thousands of American casualties; Military suicides and fragging incidents on the rise; America’s democracy and reputation in ruins; and $8,000 per person in the US through the next ten years. Or, if you want to look at it another way, $80,000 per person in Iraq. We could have bought all of Iraq intact for less than what it is costing to destroy it.

Feel-good resolutions without the force of law are a distraction and an impediment to holding our legislators accountable for real effective actions to end this garrison state of permanent war and neoconservative-neofascist oppression.

A New Ann Arbor City Council Resolution to End the War in Iraq?
Dingell bill sets date for Iraq pullout
War costs may total $2.4 trillion

See also, Bush on Iraq: ‘We’re Kicking Ass’
Letter to the youth of America
Scanlyze tag: Stabenow

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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24 October, 2007 Posted by | Afghanistan, Ann Arbor, budget, Carl Levin, city council, cost, Dingell, distraction, H.J.RES.52, H.R.2638, H.R.3222, House of Representatives, hypocrisy, Iraq, John Rockefeller, Levin, Michigan, Michigan PEaceworks, neocon, neoconservative, news, oppression, peace, permanent war, politics, resolution, Rockefeller, Ron Suarez, Senate, Stabenow, US House of Representatives, US Senate, war | Leave a comment

The War Prayer by Mark Twain

The War Prayer

(part II)

courtesy, thewarprayer.com

film by Markos Kounalakis
illustrations: Akis Dimitrakopoulos
voiced by: Peter Coyote, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Erik Bauersfeld

The War Prayer

By Mark Twain
c. 1904
public domain

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came-next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their faces alight with material dreams-visions of a stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!-then home from the war, bronzed heros, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation — “God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!”

Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was that an ever–merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory –

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there, waiting.

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,”Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said

“I come from the Throne-bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd and grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import-that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of-except he pause and think.

“God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who hearth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this-keep it in mind. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

“You have heard your servant’s prayer-the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it-that part which the pastor, and also you in your hearts, fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory-must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause)

“Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

Scanlyze: This bitter short story is in line with Twain’s later dark and ironic writing, particularly The Mysterious Stranger. It is rather more reminiscent of the writings of Ambrose Bierce than of Twain’s earlier, better known works such as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Of The War Prayer, Twain reportedly said,

I don’t think the prayer will be published in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.

The War Prayer was written in response to the US invasion of the Phillipines during the Spanish-American War, an imperialistic war in many ways not dissimilar from the US invasion of Iraq 104 years later. I wonder if Twain was not inspired by the first chapter of Isaiah:

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
Isaiah 1:15

Oh yes, did I forget to yell, “Support the Troops!”

USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

Mark Twain (wikipedia)
The War Prayer (2006) (IMDB) — note, this is a different film than the one above
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (wikipedia)
Peter Coyote (wikipedia)
Ambrose Bierce (wikipedia)

See also: A Marine’s Poem leads to US Representative David Obey’s anti-liberal tirade
I Dreamed I saw Joe Hill Last Night
Harold Pinter receives Legion D’Honneur
Anthem for Doomed Youth

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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7 September, 2007 Posted by | Afghanistan, Akis Dimitrakopoulos, Ambrose Bierce, bible, Erik Bauersfeld, film, hypocrisy, Iraq, isaiah, justice, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, literature, movie, peace, Peter Coyote, Phillipines, politics, prayer, Samuel Clemens, satire, scanlyze, short story, slaughter, Spanish-American War, support the troops, USA, war, War Prayer | | 4 Comments