Monday, April 03, 2006

Another fallen friend. Another funeral.

Well, it's been about 6 months since I last updated this blog. I won't get into the reasons why, but there were more pressing issues I had to attend to, and let's face it, no one reads this fucking thing anyway.

Ao first things first, I just lost another good friend of mine to this fucking war. That's two kids I grew up with, in the last 6 months.

But as bad as I feel about losing my friends, I mourn more for the Iraqis.
Nobody forced my friends to go to Iraq. Nobody made them volunteer for this debacle.
But the Iraqis don't have a choice. They awake to the mess we've made everyday.
And they don't just lose soldiers. They lose mostly civilians. Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers. Children, babies, death death nothing but death and blood and destruction and chaos every single day.

When my friends die, when any U.S. soldier dies their bodies are returned home in shiny boxes draped in U.S. flags. Their funerals are big community events, with big funeral precessions and candlelight vigils and special news reports on local T.V. stations and heartwarming stories of sacrifice in newspapers.

When Iraqis die, it is a fucking sidenote in 15 second news breaks in between American Idol results and Natalee Holloway updates. Many times, their bodies are never found, they simply disappear. Or when they do find the bodies, they are often not identifiable, or are missing limbs, or heads.

They are so fucking saturated with death. It is like the Nasdaq or the Dow Jones of murder. The body count on an endless fucking scroll that never stops, merely increases or decreases. Mostly increases. It's a bull fucking market my friends.

Let's take the great state of Texas. This state has given us so many wonderful people and things over the years. Capital punishment, George W. Bush.

Texas has about the same population as Iraq.

Let's imagine for a moment that Texas was Iraq.

Imagine you live in Texas.

Imagine turning on the news and hearing this:
"37 Texans were killed today in a suicide bombing today at a church."

"21 civilians were killed this morning in a mortar attack in a shopping center in Houston. 67 were injured."

Now imagine hearing these types of reports...day after day after day.
Imagine if in the last 3 years, 38,000 texans died as a result of violent deaths. Well, it was actually much more than that, but the government and media didn't feel it was necessary to keep track of such petty details.

Imagine if an average of 50 people were getting murdered in Texas every day as a result of violence. 1500 a month.

Imagine if the whole time this was happening, the government continued to insist that everything was fine. That progress was being made.

I'm so fucking tired of the same bullshit spin.

I'm so tired of the death and the war, and I don't even live in it or experience it. I just read the stories, I read Baghdad Burning and the many blogs and the news stories and it breaks my fucking heart, brings me to tears often that there is nothing I can do about it.

All I can do is sit in my comfortable chair, in my lame little existence, my life that gives me problems that I actually have the nerve to complain about, when there are so many suffering so much.

My friends, Brian and Wil...they gave their lives for this country. It's just too bad that this country is wrong. Dead wrong, and the citizens are wrong and stupid and apathetic, and now two wives don't have husbands and two kids don't have fathers. They are rotting in the ground, fucking worm food, for what? So that Iraq could have a civil war? So that Iraq can be controlled by a theocratic democracy? So that we could create a magical terrorist factory, wherein normal peaceful people go in and come out as angry suicidal murderers?

To Brian and Wil...and your families: Pam, Eric, Alex, Gina, Richie, Sheila, Grant.
And to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that will remain nameless...murdered because of our reckless arrogance. The faceless statistics that scroll across the screen while you watch Condoleeza and her gap fucking teeth explain to us that it really was worth it to create World War 3.

No mile long funeral precessions for you...no special articles in the local newspaper. You are just another dead brown Muslim.

Well not to me you aren't. And not to a lot of us. This stupid sleeping country is finally snapping out of it. Even the most mentally retarded of children can learn that HOT WATER BURN BABY.

We are going to win back this goddamn government and we're going to take back our country. Because if we don't, I don't think I can go on calling myself an American. And when we take back power, if there is any justice in this world, the chickenhawks...the scoundrels who led us into this debacle will be tried and executed as the fucking war criminals that they truly are.

To my fallen friends...and to the fallen Iraqis...may you finally recieve your peace in the afterlife..the peace you so rightly deserve.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

R.I.P. Marine Brian Montgomery

Ambushed. 6 marines. 5 of them from the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, out of Brookpark, Ohio. Then 14 more. 3 days, the Brookpark 20.

The impact is felt like Chernobyl in these communites, whose suburban neighborhoods are more like extended families.

Brian Montgomery was one of the 6 ambushed in Haditha. He was found with 4 other marines, weapons gone. Another marine was found a few miles away.

I went to high school with Brian. I didn't know him very well then. I remember on one occasion a good friend of mine kicking the crap out of him. But then, a few weeks later, they were good friends.

That was Brian.

I met Brian through the restaurant/bar that I work at. He was a regular there, and it was only a matter of time before we engaged in some friendly candor every now and then.

He was a textbook marine, one of these guys who just lived for his service to the marines. Most conversations ended up being about the marines.

I immediately realized I was the polar opposite of this man. He was everything I wasn't:

Optimistic...Trustworthy...Obediant.

He displayed that kind of extra-strength 100 proof patriotism that was a little too strong for my tastes. My patriotism consisted of a dedication to support and uphold that contract of all contracts, the U.S. Consitution.

His patriotism consisted of a 60 feet tall George W. Bush riding a Golden, Saudi-oil powered Zeppelin and sprinkling his magical freedom dust all over the evils in the world!

Well, a slight exaggeration. Let's just say he was Red State all the way.

Our friendly chats turned into debates a couple times, as I, like most humans, never give up the naive hope that I can change people for the better. Of course I would fail.

I always aim too high in debates. I start off with U.S. Foreign policy for the last 40 years, when I should just start simple...like Ephedra.

I mean, come on. Ephedra banned? With the shit in our medicine cabinets these days? Anal leakage, 4 hour erections, explosive diarrhea, blindness?
GIVE ME BACK MY STACKERS!!
Anyway...

We would debate, once or twice it got kind of heated. No violence, but red faces to say the least.

But when it was over, it was all handshakes and big goofy smiles and pats on the back.
You just had to love the guy.

There he was, spitting Rovian bile and Bush Newsspeak, and I couldn't help but love the guy.

He was courting another friend of mine, another coworker. Their relationship blossomed into a marriage, into a child.

The news came in...they were calling him up.

Even with a newborn baby, Brian's dedication to serve was resolute. He would go.

It was a January deployment...4 months of being a Dad and it was off to war.

He said he was going to the Al-Anbar province, which I can remember when he told me made me almost spit out my soda. He was so happy and fearless about the whole thing.

8 months later and he's dead.

And now as I sit here and remember him, it's not the arguing I remember.

It's the smiles, the laughter, the camaraderie between two goofy boys from Ohio.

There's a part of me that wishes I could go back in time and try to educate him more...but then I come to my senses and realize he wouldn't of listened anyway.

He was stubborn, set in his ways, and determined to let everyone know his dedication to his country. Just like me.

Only he was willing, like so many other young men, to die for the causes of old men.

Young men fighting and old men talking.

I feel a sadness for the death, not only for the friendship shared with Brian, but for the way his death sentence was issued by greedy old chickenhawks who don't possess a fucking milligram of the courage and pride and honor that Brian possessed.

19 Marines dead, over a 30 mile radius up and down the mistake by the lake.

The london attacks killed 50 people and it's
weeks of these "LONDON TERROR" news flashes with the gongs and the synthesizers that make you shit your pants.

20 people die in the mistake on the lake, the poorest city in America, and no one will remember tommorow.

Except for us. Those who have to live with the grief that is rooted throughout my great city at this very moment.



To Brian, to the boys from Brookpark, to all the men and women that have died in service of their country.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bush's shiny happy bullshit

Our President's speech on Thursday night demonstrated what this new Republican party does best: Utter pretty shiny words and rhetoric that are completely detached from reality.

Of course, within the first 30 seconds, he was mentioning September 11th. In fact, he mentioned it 5 times during a speech that was supposed to be about Iraq. It's amazing how Bush and the neocons mention the attacks of 9/11 like they are almost proud of something that should be considered a failure.
The speech was filled with so much nonsense, it would be near impossible to list all the fallacies and inaccuracies.

But here's some highlights:

In the beginning of the speech, when talking of terrorists:


"Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression."


"Remake" the Middle East? The Middle East has always been oppressed and full of tyranny. Much of it due to our foreign policies.
We are the ones that are trying to remake the Middle East, and we are failing miserably.


"Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. "


Here's a lame attempt at connecting Iraqi insurgents with the men who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. Then he uses the "fight them there instead of here" line. I am so tired of this illogical belief. First of all, if we secured our country properly, we wouldn't have to fight them here. Second of all, many of the terrorists would never have been terrorists if we wouldn't have invaded Iraq in the first place. Third of all, why should we punish Iraq because our history of horrid foreign policy has created hatred and murderous disdain? Fight them there so we don't have to fight them here? That's another way of saying, "Let the innocent Iraqis die for our sins instead of us." And fourth of all, if this reasoning is correct, that would mean that we are reducing the amount of terrorists. Nothing is further from the truth, We have created a breeding ground for terrorists. And even if we were killing more terrorists then we were creating, which we are not, it is still inevitable that our homeland will be hit with another attack.


"Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard - and rebuilding while at war is even harder. Our progress has been uneven - but progress is being made. We are improving roads, and schools, and health clinics ... and working to improve basic services like sanitation, electricity, and water. "


Rebuilding a country after two campaigns of destruction from the U.S. military and a decade of sanctions is hard. Power and water in urban areas has decreased over 50% in some places. Rebuilding and restructuring these basic services is the most crucial step in winning the hearts, minds, and trust of the Iraqi people, and we are failing miserably. And the worst part is, our missiles and bombs are what destroyed these services in the first place.


"Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis - who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done. It would send the wrong message to our troops - who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve. And it would send the wrong message to the enemy - who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out."


Iraqis came out and voted in large numbers in January. And most of them supported parties who said they would end the occupation. A majority of Iraqis want us to leave. I cannot speak for the troops, but I doubt they would recieve any kind of message from a timetable. I would think that this would give them hope that they are actually going to leave someday. And as far as the "enemy" is concerned, a time table would change nothing. Regardless, they will continue to kill just as much. If anything, a time table might actually reduce the killing because they would know that we are actually going to leave some day.


"When the history of this period is written, the liberation of Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq will be remembered as great turning points in the story of freedom."


While history will prove him wrong or right, this assumption is highly unlikely. Bush and neocons throw around the word "liberation" all the time, but it is just rhetoric. What have we liberated them from? Water? Electricity? Stability? Life?
We liberated Iraq from a brutal dictator that had relative control over the country, and replaced it with a neverending carnival of chaos and death.

I believe that when the history of this period is written, the war in Iraq will be remembered as another unnecessary endeavor atop a long list of failed U.S. foreign policies. It will be remembered as a time in which the entire world despised us. It will be remembered as a defeat, by giving terrorists exactly what they want: a reason for recruitment, an accessible enemy, and a cause to die for. We have given them what they want, and that is a massive failure.

This period in history will be remembered as a time in which the apathy of the American people finally came back and bit them in the ass, and the democracy of the United States took a giant step backwards.

I hope I'm wrong, but the reality continues to prove me right. And the rest of America is finally realizing the same thing.

Iraq was a mistake; Iraq is a debacle. And so is this administration.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Mistake on the Tigris

One of my favorite blogs, and I hope one of yours is well, is Baghdad Burning.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, it's a firsthand account of life in Iraq from the eyes of an extremely intelligent, eloquent, amazing young Iraqi woman.

From her most recent post:


What people find particularly frustrating is the fact that while Baghdad seems to be falling apart in so many ways with roads broken and pitted, buildings blasted and burnt out and residential areas often swimming in sewage, the Green Zone is flourishing. The walls surrounding restricted areas housing Americans and Puppets have gotten higher- as if vying with the tallest of date palms for height. The concrete reinforcements and road blocks designed to slow and impede traffic are now a part of everyday scenery- the road, the trees, the shops, the earth, the sky… and the ugly concrete slabs sometimes wound insidiously with barbed wire.

The price of building materials has gone up unbelievably, in spite of the fact that major reconstruction has not yet begun. I assumed it was because so much of the concrete and other building materials was going to reinforce the restricted areas. A friend who recently got involved working with an Iraqi subcontractor who takes projects inside of the Green Zone explained that it was more than that. The Green Zone, he told us, is a city in itself. He came back awed, and more than a little bit upset. He talked of designs and plans being made for everything from the future US Embassy and the housing complex that will surround it, to restaurants, shops, fitness centers, gasoline stations, constant electricity and water- a virtual country inside of a country with its own rules, regulations and government. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Republic of the Green Zone, also known as the Green Republic.



So we are now Suburbanizing ourselves in Iraq?

The same way the privileged in America move far away from the realities of their big cities, so goes Iraq.

If we put up big fences and ignore and shield ourselves away from the chaos we have caused, it will somehow make it go away. Out of sight, out of mind. Big shiny neon signs on restaurants and shops to distract us from the fact that outside the fences lies a neverending war and incessant instability that we have created.

I live in Cleveland, Ohio.
The "mistake on the lake."

Cleveland is the poorest city in America. As I drive through my beautiful, rotting city, I pass by the "bad" neighborhoods.

East Cleveland, the "Al-Anbar province."
Collinwood, the "Fallujah" of Cleveland.

As I drive through these places, I see the faces...most of the time varying shades of brown...the faces of the forgotten, the neglected.
All of them fixated on me. The foreigner. The outsider.

Why am I here? A white boy with a nice car in the hood means only one thing. I'm there for my own, selfish reasons. Drugs. The "oil" of Cleveland.

But I'm not. I'm just passing through.

Even if I wanted to help them out...if I wanted to give them information on college loans and grants and all the many options that are available to them to help pull them out of their destructive lifestyles...it would do no good.

A lack of credibility. A lack of trust.

And most of them would lack the motivation to become part of a system that has shit on them and their kind for so long.

And in bringing this long-reaching metaphor to a close let me say this...
No matter how noble are intentions are in Iraq, we will fail. The people of Iraq see the humvees pass by, back into their safe, shiny Green Republic, and know we are only their for our own, selfish reasons. We will never earn their trust, no matter how hard we try.

And in the end, all that will remain is

"The mistake on the Tigris"

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Marijuana

The supreme court, in a 6-3 vote, decided that the federal government can prosecute sick people who smoke marijuana...even with doctors orders. Patients who live in states in which medical marijuana initiatives have passed can still be arrested by the United States Government if they use their prescribed medicine.

First of all, what happened to states rights?

But second of all, and the more important question,
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY???????

How can you look into the eyes of a woman with terminal brain cancer, who smokes marijuana because it is the only thing that relieves her incessant, unbearable pain, and say "You are a criminal."

Let's even forget about the sick, dying, diseased people who smoke marijuana to ease their pain.

What about the rest of us?

Why the FUCK is this drug still illegal??

How can a substance that has never killed a single human being in the history of human existence remain illegal?

I can sit down to watch television and see commercials with bikini clad women partying and living it up while consuming a substance that kills thousands a year, ruins lives, and destroys families.

Yet marijuana is demonized.

For alcohol, cigarettes, aspirin, caffiene, etc. to be legal, and marijuana to remain illegal, is total fucking hypocrisy.

Here is the most common debate point by people opposed to legalization:

Marijuana is a gateway drug.

You here this one a lot. Marijuana leads to other, stronger drugs.
I would agree that, yes, most people who use hard drugs started with marijuana.
But I bet they started drinking before they started all of it. Bet they started smoking cigarettes, or at least tried them.
It's just common sense that some people who enjoy altering their states of consciousness will pursue other routes in which to do so, once they have grown tired of one method.

And it's just dumb logic. To say that marijuana leads to hard drugs is to say that masturbation leads to rape...that violent viedo games lead to school shootings.
There will always be morons who don't know when to quit, and they have to start somewhere.


And while I can go through point by point of all the myths about marijuana, I will not do it. The information is out there. I just pose one question:

Why is it the governments right to tell me that I can't ingest something that grows from the earth?

This country talks all about freedom freedom freedom, but yet we are not free to decide what is best for our own bodies.

When will this country grow up in regards to this issue? We are this extremely advanced, superpower nation, but we are still in the fucking dark ages when it comes to this subject.

At least this decision by the supreme court has put the debate in the limelight, even though there is not a legitimate debate to be had. There is only facts vs. the same old 1950's bullshit propaganda. And I'm sure the spineless media swine will not call out these imbeciles when they spit their venomous lies.

And the dumbest part about the whole thing is that marijuana is EVERYWHERE. Anyone who wants weed, can get it. PERIOD.

So why not legalize it? It could be regulated, and it would create jobs and revenue.

Nope. Not going to happen. And the reason is simple.

Marijuana use, the way it has been portrayed and used in our history, has associated it with an entire counterculture...a certain lifestyle and attitude that some people look down on. Especially the radical right that is running this country at the moment.

Laid back, open-minded, peace loving people? The polar fucking opposite of the religious fundamentalists who want control over your womb, your lungs, your life.

This is the country we live in.

It frightens me, it angers me, it saddens me.

And if it doesn't affect you in these ways, you are not paying attention.

Pay attention.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Falling Down

On the two year anniversary of the war, Congress is concentrating on what is really important:

WHETHER OR NOT THE FEEDING TUBE ON A BRAIN DEAD VEGETABLE WOMAN IS REMOVED OR NOT.

What the fuck is wrong with our country? The media? Am I the only one that feels like I'm watching some fucked-up play?

100,000 innocent civilians die in Iraq, with hardly any notice from any American media outlet. Now one brain dead chick in Florida gets her feeding tube removed, and it's a fucking media circus.

From what I know, she instructed that if she were ever to be in the state she is in now, that she would want to die. So let her die with dignity, you SELFISH FUCKING ASSHOLES.

Why does this so called "conservative" government interfere more and more in our lives? With issues like this, they are merely appealing to the Red-state social conservatives, most of whom are as brain-dead as Terri Schiavo.

This "culture of life" crowd that is so concerned about saving embryos, stem cells, and brain-dead people...yet don't care about innocent brown women and children getting blown to bits in Iraq...don't care about the millions in poverty, slowly dying and decaying away.

I am seriously just so sick and tired of all this bullshit. I'm gonna say it:

I hate this country. Well, I hate what this country has become.

I hate the nationalist propaganda in the news.

I hate every greasy slimeball politician out there. Democrats aren't better than Republicans. The whole system is fucked. The media is only an extension of this system.

Nothing will ever change, because nobody cares. Nobody cares, because we are all distracted by bullshit. Bullshit like this.

What is the point of continuing on? Why do I even try to make a difference? I have no message to give. The only thing I know is that I am disillusioned & very pissed off, and there is not a goddamn thing I can do about it.

I don't know when I will update this again. No one reads it anyway.

Hunter S. Thompson, I'll see you soon.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Fear and Loathing on Presidents Day

What a sad, sad day.

Hunter S. Thompson shoots himself.

Anyone familiar with him, is not surprised by his suicide.

But still saddened.

His mad genius writing has been an inspiration to me since i first picked up one of his books so long ago.

I will only say this...for those of you who are not familiar, you should be.

Will end this post with his prophetic quote from
"Fear & Loathing in America," Sept.12, 2001, one day after 9/11:

"The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now -- with somebody -- and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives."

"It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy. . . We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows"?

"This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed -- for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now."


The prophet.

The gonzo journalist.





Rest in peace old man. You will be missed.

B. Charles

Project for a New World Order

For those not familiar with the Project for a New American Century, or the PNAC, they are basically the heart and soul of the neocon movement. They are the ones who originally thought up the debacle in Iraq. They are Bush's puppeteers.

From Amy Goodman's excellent book, "Exception to the Rulers":

The blueprint for what has happened since 9/11 was drawn up years earlier, by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a think tank formed in 1997 "to promote American global leadership." Its founders are a who's who of the neoconservative movement, which seamlessly morphed into the top officialdom of the Bush II administration: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's chief of staff L.Scooter Libby, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Defense Policy Board member Richard Perle, and National Security Council staff member (and convicted liar) Elliot Abrams among others.


The PNAC members had a reputation around Washington, explained Ray McGovern, a retired CIA analyst with twenty-seven years' experience. A former intelligence briefer for Vice President George Bush, McGovern observed, "When we saw these people coming back in town, all of us said . . . 'Oh my God, the crazies are back.' " McGovern said their wild-eyed geopolitical schemes would typically go "right into the circular file."


In September 2000, PNAC issued a report that called upon the United States to dominate global resources and, well, the globe. The key to realizing this was "some catastrophic and catalyzing event-like a new Pearl Harbor." As investigative reporter John Pilger has written, "[PNAC] an recommended an increase in arms-spending by $48 billion so that Washington could 'fight and win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars.' This has happened. It said the United States should develop 'bunker-buster' nuclear weapons and make 'star wars' a national priority. This is happening. It said that, in the event of Bush taking power, Iraq should be a target. And so it is."


Weapons of mass destruction and Iraq itself were mere pretexts for larger schemes. According to PNAC: "While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

And so on the morning of September 12, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld reacted to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks by declaring to Bush's cabinet that the United States should immediately attack Iraq. It didn't matter then or later that Iraq had no connection to Al Qaeda or the 9/11 attacks. The neoconservatives, annoyed that we merely owned the pumps and not the oil, were itching to dominate the world. The facts could be molded to fit their designs.



So their agenda is obvious...World Domination.

But empires are doomed to fall, and fall hard.

I just hope when it all collapses, these swine collapse with it, and collapse for good.

B.Charles