Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's time for another Mandate

No, not that kind...

...this kind!

With its international mandate in Iraq set to expire in 11 months, the Bush administration will insist that the government in Baghdad give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors specific legal protections from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials.
Let me translate that into English for everyone: you're going to let us do whatever the fuck we want, whether you like it or not.
This emerging American negotiating position faces a potential buzz saw of opposition from Iraq, with its fragmented Parliament, weak central government and deep sensitivities about being seen as a dependent state, according to these officials.
The mental image drawn up by the words 'buzz saw,' a churning, razor-sharp scarifier of lethality, kind of loses its edge when followed up by 'fragmented' and 'weak.' Not to mention the unspoken reality that Iraq is a dependent state. But what do I know. I'm just a naive, potsmoking, poem-writing, metalhead blogger. Dude, those are my corn chips...
At the same time, the administration faces opposition from Democrats at home, who warn that the agreements that the White House seeks would bind the next president by locking in Mr. Bush’s policies and a long-term military presence.
Oh, no! Not the Democrats! Why, they're nearly as unstoppable as the Washington Generals! Or the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
“These are going to be tough negotiations,” said one senior Bush administration official preparing for negotiations with the Iraqis. “They’re not supplicants.”
"Yes? Are you a new applicant?"
"Actually, I quit and I came to get my job back."
"Through there."

"So...come crawling back, eh?"
"Seems like the classy thing to do would be not to call attention to it."
Under an earlier agreement between the United States and Iraq, those contractors have been exempt from Iraqi law. Justice Department officials have said it is not clear whether any crimes committed by contractors in Iraq, including the role played by Blackwater employees in a September shooting in Baghdad, would be subject to American law, but the administration has taken steps intended to close any loopholes.
I'd like to know exactly how the administration has taken steps intended to close any loopholes. I'd also like a pony, a naked Alessandra Ambrosio waiting for me when I get back home from work in about two hours, some vintage Black Sabbath soundboard bootlegs, a few bottles of absinthe, the skill to craft memorable verse and a year's supply of Turtle Wax.


Mary Ellen said...

Ummm....when exactly are we going to get those flowers and candies that Cheney said would be thrown at us in Iraq? So far...nothing being thrown except grenades.

A pony AND a naked Alessandra Ambrosio? Aren't you getting a little greedy, Randal?

Randal Graves said...

What do you think the refund check is for? To buy flowers and candies and throw them at ourselves! We get the double joy of that and stimulating the economy!

Greed is good, mon amie.

Anonymous said...

Yo RG... You really hit the nail with this one my friend. This line completely blew me away:

"Let me translate that into English for everyone: you're going to let us do whatever the fuck we want, whether you like it or not."

This is in reference to the Blackwater "security forces" (read, mercenaries) that now operate in Iraq. They have no oversight -- none at all, and this is how GWB has run his administration.

It's also why we need to have a Constitutional Convention so that it is much more responsive to the rights of 21st Century Americans. Such a review, I think, would include some discussion on the limitations of the President's powers to wage war.

Personally, considering the enormous expense our military represents, I find it reprehensible that we would even need Blackwater. Moreover, I would like to see an amendment that makes clear that the only forces who are allowed to engage in combat on behalf of the United States must either be American soldiers or soldiers from countries allied with the United States (e.g., Great Britain). No mercenaries or security forces, ever. If you want to fight for us, wear our uniform and align yourself with the U.S. military command and code of conduct.

Again, great post dude!

My Inner French Girl said...

Er, I'm sorry, I thought murder was a violation of American law. Why the hell should it matter? Seems to me that we're setting a really bad precedent, considering that any "crime" committed by foreign nationals here in the United States is at least subject to international law.

Oh wait, I forgot. Foreign nationals have no rights here either. Remember the Hattori case about 15 or so years ago? When the Japanese exchange student was killed by that stupid redneck in Louisiana, who then was acquitted of the crime? I was so happy when I became an American citizen that same year. At least I now have a slim chance of receiving some justice.

The appalling immunity of defense contractors in Iraq should be one of the first things the new administration should scrutinize once he/she is sworn into office. At this point, they're no better than so-called soldiers of fortune. I agree with Spartacus -- we're now in charge of freakin' mercenaries out there.


dguzman said...

Great post, RG, and great comments Spartacus!

Maybe this "we're gonna do whatever the fuck we want" bullying will make the Iraqis so pissed off that they'll finally realize that we're the enemy, and if they unite against us then maybe they can kick us the hell out.

Randal Graves said...

spartacus, thank you my friend, and I'm completely on board with a Constitutional convention. It's beyond trite to say, but America really is at a crossroads. We see what rampant, unchecked capitalism and hubris to can do to a representative republic. It ain't pretty.

No mercenaries or security forces, ever. If you want to fight for us, wear our uniform and align yourself with the U.S. military command and code of conduct.

Exactly. It's too easily abused, and I think even with oversight - ha, ha - it's one headache that we shouldn't have to deal with. And given how they've lessened the standards for entry into the services and how the civilians view war, it makes the idea of any kind of mercenary force even less agreeable. Need more troops? Either raise them the right way or - gasp! - don't fucking invade other nations.

Marjorie, don't be ridiculous. It's only murder if the other guy does it.

I honestly don't think this nation will ever move past the need to find a new The Other to demonize. Sure, we're not alone in that regard, but look at how easily we've shifted over the years from freed slaves, European immigrants, Asian immigrants, Middle Eastern. It's the inherent, almost culturally genetic need in this nation to feel a superiority above all other things, which is of course a combination of a lot of factors, personal and political, and I'll stop before I end up writing another post instead of just a comment. ;-)

dguzman, I know I couldn't blame them if that was the case. All the Red Dawn aficionados on the right should surely appreciate those sentiments, no?

Anonymous said...

You've been "on" lately. What's the wax for?

Distributorcap said...

typical bush
saddle the next president with another problem

great post Randal

Randal Graves said...

colleen, all this winter salt? I want my beater to look its shiniest!

dcap, exactly, same goes for that one guy, I forget his name, something to do with 9/11. and thanks, but you're the man on a roll.

Dean Wormer said...

Democrats will stop them.


Sorry. I just spit milk out of my nose laughing.

Tom Harper said...

Why the heck shouldn't we get to do whatever we want in Iraq? We brought democracy to those primitive swarthy people; they should be eternally grateful.

Oh, and because we're bigger than them.

Who Hijacked Our Country

My Inner French Girl said...

Bonjour, Randal! Ack, go ahead and write another post about it. Should be fascinating.

We (as in "immigrants" or "non-whites") do the same. It's all about economic scarcity, or the fear thereof. If we think that our livelihoods are being threatened by people from outside our familiar community, we immediately take an offensive position. Consider the 1992 LA riots, which pitted the black community against the Korean community. And the dominant demographic -- in this case the upper-class WASPs in power -- encourages such racial divisions, holding up the Asian community as the dreaded "model minority," making the unspoken assumption that everyone else is just a bunch of lazy whiners. It helps to shore up your own position if you can make everyone else beneath you expend all their energy fighting for the scraps.