Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Maybe Islam Is Right About Pork

It's been quite awhile since I dragged my soapbox out and had a good rant. Here goes it.....

High up on my list of useful idiots is commentraitor Bill Maher. A couple weeks ago, after a rather lame bombing attempt on the life of Vice-President Cheney at the Bagram Airbase, he opined and lamented had Cheney been assassinated many lives would be saved. I have in the past commented here at Fire and Ice that the goals of Terrorism and Islamofascism are almost purely strategic in nature...namely making it on to the nightly American news with scenes of mayhem and carnage, and or deeply informing and influencing the words spewing from the mouths of pundits. Tactically they cannot defeat our troops going toe-to-toe, but strategically they can, and have eroded the fighting elan of our national will. Suicide bombers and their handlers know that tactically their murderous missions are exercises in futility. GIs will continue to walk the mean streets of Kabul and Baghdad, and locals will return to market places and mosques. The attack in Bagram on Cheney was tactical, however folks like Maher manage to turn these criminal events into strategic political victories. I leave it to you dear readers to decide who's demise would perhaps result in a lowering of terrorist instigated deaths. It's doubtful if Al-Qaeda et al is trying to influence Cheney's thinking with their suicide bombs.....influencing Maher and his ilk is another thing all together.

On another day, while channel surfing, I again came across Maher being interviewed by the equally useful idiot, Keith Olbermann. Maher was lamenting the Bush Presidency, which he characterized as a failed six year experiment in stupidity. He insisted that the next president had to be 'bright'. Now I'm absolutey certain that somewhere in his vast storehouse of genius opinions and lexicon of brilliant commentaries Mr. Maher has spoken with great eloquence about all the threats endured by democracy itself during the past six years. It's interesting that he is now advocating governance only by the bright.....this actually has a name, and it's not democracy, it's called an aristocracy. I wonder if Maher is contemplating an electorate limited to only the bright as well? (We certainly don't want the NASCAR guys voting in another numbscull now do we. No, what we need are only the uber-bright to vote, perhaps like the Yale students who burned copies of the Bill of Rights and the Ten Commandments on Ash Wednesday, and then marked their foreheads with the ashes.) Jim Crow laws did the trick for close to a century in the American South. Maybe it's time to revisit the concept.....let's call them Bill Maher laws....you got what on your SATs? Sorry, you can't vote. Or how about an IQ data base? 120 or higher gets to vote.....everyone else gets tickets to a monster truck show.

Congress passed a bill last week to basically defund the war in Iraq and set a withdrawal date. Apparently the bill was also heavily laden and lubricated through the system with generous portions of pork. Speaking of pork, a popular ABC talkshow, The View, has been getting a lot of attention due to the comments by one of it's commentators, comedian Rosie O'Donnell. Who knew she secretly acquired PhDs in History and Political Science. Perhaps Islam is right after all....pork in it's various forms may be the source of our fall from grace on the world stage.

Two other interesting things I came across recently are; 1. the insatiable appetite the Chinese and the Russians have for deforesting vast stretches of virgin woodlands (remember this next time you're at IKEA), and 2. The concerns the Olympic Committee has expressed about the pollution in Beijing and the effect this could have on athletic performance. I find these two issues interesting in light of the push by certain parties to aggressively confront global warming. Perhaps an inconvenient truth they need to address is only democracies are even remotely interested in doing anything substantive about environmental issues. Makes me wonder why these same folks are so keen to find fault with actively spreading democracy. Unless of course they assume that the best model of governance for the inforcement of enviromental initiatives is something a little more on the dictatorial side.

Finally, Iran is releasing the British sailors and Marines it illegally seized 13 days ago with great fanfare. (The Bush Administration needs to find out who their PR firm is. Churchill is no doubt rolling in his grave.) Syria is claiming to have brokered the Iranian release of these hostages. These are two nations we GIs know all too well are behind much of the chaos in Iraq. I liken this episode to a bank robbery where the bank begs the robbers to not only keep the money, but to deposit it in a high interest account. One thing our enemy can and do bank on is the predilection of some folks living over at the fourth estate to spend a little time marching in or closely behind the fifth column.

I hope all of you have a lovely Easter weekend. Janis and I will be heading up to my Mom's in Pennsylvania for an Easter Sunday feast with family and friends porking out on.......you guessed it, ham!

50 comments:

Jo Castillo said...

Well said,
Thanks,
Jo

Gene Cast41@aol.com said...

Maher is the same guy who said the real heroes on September 11, 2001 were the guys who flew the airplanes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and tried to fly one back to Washington, DC but were overcome by some actual hereos. These people on the left will never understand why they are able to make the stupid statements they do. If it had been up to people like them we would all be speaking German and Japanese.

Gene Castillo

Miss Ladybug said...

Good analysis, but today's not Ash Wednesday - that was back in February. I don't think today has a "name" in the Church. Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, tomorrow is Holy Thursday, then Good Friday, Holy Saturday then Easter Sunday. Unless that was from something that happened a while back??

Bag Blog said...

What you said! I have missed your soapbox rants. You have a way with words that just says it all so intelligently. Hey, you may be able to vote in upcoming elections while the rest of us peons go to the tractor pull.

Buck Pennington said...

Happy Easter, Mr. Fay! Enjoy your trip...

As a side note: while I agree wholeheartedly with your rant (and a good one it is!), it's disconcerting to consider The Moonbats Maher & Olbermann in tandem after only one cup of coffee. I just poured the second; things will get better!

;-)

anonymousopinion said...

I agree, but please don't put the Iron Lady in her coffin quite yet!

mdfay said...

My apologies to Mrs. Thatcher! I will correct my mistake. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Michael,

Thanks for linking to Olbermann Watch where we report on the antics of "useful idiot" Keith Olbermann every day.

Here is direct link to our post on th e Maher interview including video and a link to the transcript.

http://www.olbermannwatch.com/archives/2007/03/countdown_with_238.php

consider sending me an email via the link at the top of our site.

Bob Cox

Fathairybastard said...

Well said. Olbermann is such a stooge, and he and Maher are such cowards. Load their shows with opinions they like and overpower their opponents. Give aid anbd comfort to the enemy, and then wrap themselves in the first amendment.

Stan Yann said...

I grew up in the Soviet Union and Bush's rhetoric scares the crap out of me because his speeches and actions remind me of my totalitarian childhood.

mdfay said...

Stan, I hope, as you struggle with your self-admitted perplexion with all things American, you can seperate rhetorical posturing from actuality. No one in America has been locked away in a frozen gulag for criticizing Bush...flag burning, burning GIs in effigy, consorting and convorting with the enemy and generally bad mouthing the current president's administration goes on with robust impunity last time I looked...and without any significant consequence for the Dems and the Left. The chique, weak and meek have nothing to fear from Bush...in fact they've ridden their rhetoric into power. Please remember that the bellicose rhetoric of another Republican president, Ronald Reagan, helped shatter a failed little historical experiment called communism. Let's hope the rhetoric of America's left doesn't undermine another little historical experiment called democracy.

Stan Yann said...

Michael,

First, let me say that as person who was happy to escape the Soviet Union and who lost his great grandfather to the system I am very happy to live in America, to pay my taxes and to vote. I am grateful for all that this country has given me and all that I continue to enjoy. And I don't want to see this country becoming a totalitarian state, an idea that I am not very fond of. Sometimes I am indeed perplexed, but only by some things American. I voice my confusion because I can and that is a right I enjoy most of all. Thank you for your art and for your service.

tammyswofford said...

Anyone with an average I.Q. who merely reads and is willing to be disciplined to read on an international level knows that Syria is a convenient land bridge for both finances and weapons acquisition used by those who seek to splatter our DNA on the local landscape.

And regarding the Brit sailors.... what with them playing chess, chowing down, pointing at maps like Vanna White, my first thought was "Stockholm Syndrome", whilst they claim interrogations, solitary confinement, etc. I am sure they endured much. Yet I am forced to recall many of our own Vietnam Vets who went years in Hanoi Hilton and never put their signatures or faces to any publicity stunt such as that pulled off by the Iranians in their al-Jazeera special. Woof!

LCDR Tammy Swofford, USNR, NC

Tammy Swofford

Ben Pounds said...

"I find these two issues interesting in light of the push by certain parties to aggressively confront global warming. Perhaps an inconvenient truth they need to address is only democracies are even remotely interested in doing anything substantive about environmental issues. Makes me wonder why these same folks are so keen to find fault with actively spreading democracy."

So, do you actively support spreading democracy into China? That's not really the official policy of our government. After all, they make toys for our children.
Actually if we were to "actively spread democracy" into China it could start a nuclear war. After that there'd be no environment, much less democracy, anywhere.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of China and think it's better to live in a society where you and I and even Bill Maher can say what we feel. I even have admiration for people like you who are willing to die to promote these ideals.
Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The countries in which Al Qaeda has thrived (such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia) have all been unstable countries, struggling to get any government in order. Yes, Afghanistan had the Taliban, but the Taliban rose in power because it provided a relative stability that the warlords didn't.
So, if we want to defeat Al Qaeda, we should focus on creating more stability rather than more unrest.

Ben Pounds

Anonymous said...

Regarding aristocracy, we don't live in a direct democracy. We elect one person to act on behalf of the group. Ideally we choose someone with certain qualities that we feel makes them the best person to represent us. If it didn't matter who the representative was, we would choose names at random rather than voting. If choosing the best candidate for the job makes this an aristocracy, I guess that's what this is.

And, given that we're electing the person we feel will do the best job, what's wrong with wanting that person to be intelligent? I'm not commenting on the popular perception of our current president, I'm speaking in general. I want to be represented by someone who would do a better job than I would, which includes being smarter than me. Brains certainly aren't everything, but in general I think an intelligent person would make a better president than Joe Average off the street.

Matt said...

Hi Michael,

I'm diametrically opposed to practically every political opinion expressed in your blog, I appretiate the historical significance, skill, and beauty in your artwork. Thanks for that.

Canadian said...

Mr. Fay, I sure like your art and your commentary. I respect the dedication and courage of the US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Canada is also contributing to the war against terror, and the majority of Canadians support our troops. The lack of support for American forces is in my opinion due to one major factor: George Bush. You mention Winston Churchill as an example of a great inspiring leader. If there ever was a President in American history who is the total opposite of Churchill---in terms of his ability to inspire and lead the people with great charisma and powerful words of inspiration---it's George Bush. I feel sorry for your brave comrades. If you wonder why support at home is failing, look to your leader. He has got ZERO command presence, and the best thing for the US Military is to see him gone. Somebody said of Harry Truman that "His balls clanked when he walked". That's the kind of President America needs now--a man to look up to. You sure don't have one today. Good luck to you and your comrades.

Anonymous said...

You realize that by stating that Jim Crow laws did the trick of giving only bright people the right to vote in the south you directly insinuate that African Americans were not bright. I am quite appalled by this and feel that perhaps you either don't profferead your writing or dont understand what these laws were.

Anonymous said...

I have bad news for you. Maher's ranting and views, are equal to your own ranting and views, both are extreme. One Neo-Liberal and the other Neo-Con!

John Milton said...

Horrible analysis - stick to the painting. I linked here from a BBC article about you, but I must say, I don't think I'll waste my time again.

Bill Maher's comment about Cheney is well deserving of criticism, but the rest of your "rant" falls victim to the Straw Man fallacy, among other inaccuracies.

His wish that the leader of our country be intelligent is not aristocracy. Aristocracy is government by the noble-born, i.e., you inherit power. It has nothing to do with intelligence or any merit other than title. It's actually closer to the current situation - President George W. Bush would never haven risen as high had it not been for his father. What Maher was "advocating" is more like elitism or meritocracy, which is how we run the military - the stupid don't rise in rank (mostly), because there are tests and performance evaluations and other gates to screen out the incompetent and promote the most highly qualified. It isn't democratic or populist, but it works.

But to then extrapolate his desire for a smarter President to desire for a system where your right to vote depends on a measure of your intelligence, a thoroughly illegitimate idea in a democracy, is where you drift into the straw man fallacy - you attribute false ideas to your opponent in order to refute them.

I, too, wish we had a more intelligent president, and am often depressed at how easily a large section of the voting public is swayed by an "aw, shucks" twang, rolled up sleeves and a pair o' boots masking an absolute vacuum of ideas or solutions to the very real problems we have in this world. However, my dismay does not lead me to advocate an authoritarian system or the disenfranchisement of the less mentally gifted. And neither does Maher, at least not in the comment you criticized.

It doesn't actually help your argument to lambast him for a notion he wasn't promoting - it makes you look like just another right-wing flak, a dittohead with no rational thought, just a knee-jerk reactionary.

Nice paintings and drawings, though. Keep up THAT good work.

Mark in UK said...

Great blog! Reading the "Ripley at the Bridge" quote on the last post reminded me of:


Corporal Bryan James Budd VC,
The Parachute Regiment, A Company, 3rd Battalion.
Victoria Cross reciepient for action in Sangin, Afghanistan.

I urge all to read the citation of extreme bravery and upmost professionalism and selflessness.

The London Gazette (15 December 2006):
http://www.gazette-online.co.uk/download.asp?docid=1115671

For US readers, The Victoria Cross was introduced in 1856 and had been awarded 1,356 times, and is the British (and the Canadian + other Commonwealth) equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor (US), Légion d'honneur (France) and select others of other nations.


All that can be said by this sort of reading of the is that it's - rather humbling.


The things you say regarding the tactics and strategy reminded me of some of my Roman history etc. It's so correct.

The point is, Maher and generally the media is only intersted in controversy in the "media-economy".... The reality of the situation makes things very different.

The US forces aren't losing in Iraq or anywhere else. Many of these murderous events are a sign of desperation of certain groups to maintain the status quo ante - i.e. their own domination over everything in peoples lives. The Islamofacist term is so correct its untrue.

I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that the media (particuarly the US media and some British media) are making war-fighting impossible in the 21st century. Thing is I don't think anyone has told the west's enemies. They can wage (asymmetric) war all they wish - without the constant witch hunt that we witness daily. All because the media is a living thing now - unelected and unaccountable to anyone. You only have to look at the antics of the press with the Royal family in my country. It's positively sickening. The Iranian media antics and my own countrie's media response - with anti-government lobbyests taking over the media at times - is a good example. These lobbyests are looking to be critical over ANYTHING. How can they live with themselves when they're doing things that harm the country? Thats what I think.


One final thing, I have to say your art adds something that photos never could.

As your USMC says "Semper fi". or as ours say "Per Mare Per Terram" ("by sea, by land")

Keep it up!

Mark in UK said...

Tammy Swofford said:
"And regarding the Brit sailors.... what with them playing chess, chowing down, pointing at maps like Vanna White, my first thought was "Stockholm Syndrome", whilst they claim interrogations, solitary confinement, etc. I am sure they endured much. Yet I am forced to recall many of our own Vietnam Vets who went years in Hanoi Hilton and never put their signatures or faces to any publicity stunt such as that pulled off by the Iranians in their al-Jazeera special. Woof!"

The issue is we're not officially at war with Iran.
Despite reading things to the contrary.... regarding Iranian involvement in Iraq... but thats another matter (4 dead in Basra Warrior AIFV attack).

Had we been at war things may have been different.

Our policy on personel is for them to be cooperative not confrontational but not to put themselves into disrepute. I don't view it as a humliation as the world could see what Iranian-theocracy were doing. This is something I am very angry about even now, and it's unlikely to be forgotten for a considerable time, especially in the light that we've shown great restraint to now.

In such situations, had war been declared things would certainly have been slightly different.

My final point is to the people whom I view as nieve. Appeasement with the likes of Iran will never work. They continue to grow in power year on year. Read this:
- January 26, 2005
In an interview on Iranian TV, Hosein Salami, former deputy commander of operations of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps said:
"The [Americans] eliminated the Taliban and Saddam. They conducted operations in Yugoslavia. Therefore, we are aware of the Americans’ real power. Our country has unique capacities that no other power in the Middle East or in the Persian Gulf possesses. This is the ability to manage regional crises. This is a fact. If Iran wishes to cause turbulence in the crisis areas around it, and to leave its mark - stability and security in the region will change dramatically."

Iran was probing UK/US responses with the hostage taking. Hopefully to split the positions.

It's just the mass media and the public in the US and UK in general arn't willing to accept that attacks are coming from Iran. Mainly due to the fact lobbyests continue to be more vocal at home.

The propaganda notes/letters from F Turney prove this - directly appealling to splits in the UK public..... to "leave Iraq".

I'm still coming up with my own view in how to deal with the Iranian-theocracy... so I won't comment here.

Rebel Radio said...

I saw your images on the BBC and thought them profound. Good job. I came here and read your latest post and I couldn't help but respond. I hope you find the constructive criticism welcome.

I don't care much for Bill Maher, but you are taking a joke too seriously. He and John Steward are political satirists, nothing more.

I agree w your take on the strategies of the insurgents. I'm afraid most people will not understand what you wrote.

As for Rosie, I don't think she's a scholar or anything of the sort, but she's still free to comment and although Im not very fond of her, what she said made a lot of sense nevertheless.

As for the movie "An Inconveniet Truth." The movie was about global warming and America's constribution to that problem. Gore is an American and made a film to spread awareness amongst Americans. But you're right, democracies are more apt to take action, but I take issue when you said: "Makes me wonder why these same folks are so keen to find fault with actively spreading democracy."

There's nothing wrong w peaceably spreading democracy, but when you invade a country, kill hundreds of thousands of people, plunder it resources, and use chemical weapons (white phosphorus, depleted uranium, etc), then spreading democracy becomes a deadly proposition.

As for Iran releasing the British marines, who you say were illegally seized, when is the US going to release the Iranians Iran AND IRAQ claim were illegally seized in Iraq?

Anonymous said...

I like your artwork very much.

Your drawing of the chess player wincing in the whipping sand brings to mind the "dust in the wind" song by the band Kansas.

In a few 100 thousand years or less, there will likely be an earth with no memory left of its narrow minded human inhabitants. In actuality, there is only one powerful and ruthless "enemy" I can find in this brief flash of time and space that we call our lives - and that would be our own 'ignore'-ance.

When I study the little morsel of what is available of the history of humanity, it is littered with "great empires" that appear to rise and crumble with the constancy of the breath. Concepts like "democracy" and "communism" etc, which seem to mean something different to every one I talk to, arise for a short time and then pass away into oblivion. The longer I pay attention, the more that mind, body, identity, city, state, country, continent, religion, ethnicity, technology, ideology, family and language start to come across as momentary figments of limited collective imaginations that are continually and not always subtly changing in each and every moment whether we are capable of noticing or not.

I start to feel that the inconceivable suffering that we are all witnessing now in so many parts of the planet are the consequence of clinging to our temporary corporeal forms and half-baked mish-mash of concepts and ideals at seemingly any price.

I think one may "win" a physical battle on earth, but easily wind up losing the war for the liberation of their soul and countless others for many eternities.

I think that money can be thought of as a form of energy. And in that sense, if we put our energy into weapons and fighting, fear and injury will be the result - alternatively, if we put our energy into deep contemplation and kindness, understanding and happiness will follow. Of course this is a simplification but, I think, not nearly so far from the truth. We reap what we sow - and as far as the earth is concerned, it doesn't appear to be limited to any particular nationality or species.

It is my hope that if there is a third world war, it will be a personal war. A war where each and every one of us will fearlessly confront and destroy our afflictive emotions and limited perceptions. I now believe that this is the only true warrior or hero.

Keep up the inspiring art!

Wyk

Robert J. said...

I am assuming you are only joking in this rant. Or do have such disdain for intelligent people that you must write this stuff? The great Texas Idiot has taken us down the rosey road and that shotgunnig ass of a vice-president earned $1.6 million last on a $200,000 salary. The rest profiteering from the war via his contracts to his company. C'mon, get real man.

Anonymous said...

Maher is a great guy. Thanks to him many people have come to see the futility of this bullshit war. Soon the rest will follow suit.

Anonymous said...

Michael Really great work....you rank with the great war artists of the 20th century.

Bish said...

Oooops did not mean to be anonymous
Bish uk.

a Middleastern Midwesterner said...

"There's nothing wrong w peaceably spreading democracy, but when you invade a country, kill hundreds of thousands of people, plunder it resources, and use chemical weapons (white phosphorus, depleted uranium, etc), then spreading democracy becomes a deadly proposition."

Ah, thank you. The world thanks you.

Saved me a few paragraphs on this gentleman's blog.

Viewing Mr. Fay's blog, it's clear to me that the BBC online -- which is a bastion of independent news and analysis with a truly global village perspective -- should have never given this man and his Semper-Fi employer such free publicity.

Like so much of traditonal White America's worldview (term used extremely loosely), it reads like a predictable and outdated one-dimensional Chuck Norris screenplay.

One really wonder what these folks do if there isn't something to declare "War" over -- Star Wars, War on Drugs, blah blah blah. There's a reason why felons and the uneducated fill today's U.S. Military, while the young folk of up-and-coming superpowers are investing in real innovation and progress.

Actually, that's probably a reason why these G.I. Joes aren't held in high regard these days both at home and abroad. Now here's another.

Mr. Fay, Americans are welcomed anywhere in the world -- including on the "mean streets of Baghdad" (have you ever had dinner inside the home of an Iraqi family, sir?).

But no human being will EVER be welcomed as an, ummm, "liberator" when they strut onto an innocent person's backyard completely uninvited strapped with little more than machine guns, grenades, wearing fatigues and stomping around in thick combat boots.

Voting for your favorite corporate-controlled puppet politician isn't providing any "liberation".

Thankfully, the decision-makers in America (Congress, Media, Military etc) don't really reflect the future face of this country. It's only a matter of time before our younger generations start to get into the foray -- the Baby Boomers have done enough damage.

See, I got around to a few paragraphs anyway. :-)

Anonymous said...

To begin, aristocracy, in western lexicon, refers to rule by the upper class, or inherited rule. It has nothing to do with intellectual totalitarianism. It's hard to imagine anyone finding fault in a president that has a firm grasp on foreign policy.
While the bill to "defund" (which isn't a word) the war in Iraq was laden with liberal pork - as reported in the media - it was also chock full of conservative pork. Try reading the bill instead of quoting the media.

"The concerns the Olympic Committee has expressed about the pollution in Beijing and the effect this could have on athletic performance. I find these two issues interesting in light of the push by certain parties to aggressively confront global warming. Perhaps an inconvenient truth they need to address is only democracies are even remotely interested in doing anything substantive about environmental issues. Makes me wonder why these same folks are so keen to find fault with actively spreading democracy"

I'm not sure I understand this bit. Do you agree that global warming is an important issue, and think that democratic nations are at the forefront of conservation (realistically, while many democratic countries are very [environmentally] conservative the signers to the Kyoto Protocols include a large number of socialist, communist, dictatorial, and democratic nations) or do you believe that our democratic country is somehow above that. These "folks" don't necessarily have problems with spreading democracy, they have problems with our nation forcing its will on other nations.

Anonymous said...

By the way, government by intelligence is not aristocracy - it is a meritocracy. Aristocracy is government by a class elite made up of people who are not necessarily more intelligent; just higher up in the social ladder (although there is often a correlation making the two theories very similar and easy to claim in error).

I, like many others, am an advocate of such a system... not to say that I like Maher's comments though...

Anonymous said...

Well said soldier, I am so very tired of the liberal scum bags stabbing the American soldier in the back and then blaming Bush. If the left and the right put there differences aside and worked together to destroy the islamofaschism many of our Soldiers lives would be saved. I doubt they will ever understand though, lets just hope a conservative President gets voted in the next election or everything done the past 8 years will be undone.

Diana said...

I like your paintings but your thought process is very flawed.

The war in Iraq is a waste, a strategic blunder of massive proportions, and opposing it is patriotism of the highest order.

Iraq has taken resources away from Afghanistan, where the real war is. Because of Afghanistan, the Taliban is back. And there's a limit as to how much you can change in Afghanistan: it will never be a Western democracy.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Insulting people you disagree with diminishes the power of your position.
Invading Iraq was a bad idea, and our military are paying the price, right alongside the population of Iraq.The politicians who got us there lied, and most of us understand that.
Thus insulting critics of this fiasco does nothing to show this ill advised Imperialism was ever a good idea.
Remember Kut, 1917.

Ex-UK Forces said...

What cannot be denied is that the 3 reason for invading Iraq fail to stand up:

1. There were no weapons of mass destruction.
2. There was no relationship between the Islamic fundamentalist Al Qaeda and the secular Saddam Hussein and his quasi-Soviet Baath party, which had nothing to do with the 11 September 2001 attacks.
3. Having got rid of Saddam Hussein as an "evil dictator", there is no peace and freedom in Iraq and the chaos that has ensued was entirely predictable and was the reason that President Bush’s father did not overthrow Saddam Hussein after Kuwait was liberated.

Indeed, in the UK, Air Marshall Sir John Walker, late Royal Air Force, a former UK Deputy Head of Intelligence, said that “"Shadowy offices in Downing Street" had politicised the intelligence.” over Iraq. While Lord Hutton’s Inquiry cleared Prime Minister Blair of any wrongdoing over intelligence, the majority of the British public do not believe its findings. Moreover, only 21% of the electorate voted for Blair’s New Labour Party at the General Election on 5 May 2004 and the vast majority see the invasion decision as ill-founded and illegal.

President Bush and Prime Minister Blair made the classic mistake, well-documented by a former Second World British Army Officer, Norman Dixon who later became a psychologist, of ignoring intelligence that did not fit with their preconceptions. His book, "On the Psychology of Military Incomptence", was, I believe, compulsory reading at the Royal Military College Sandhurst. This is the reason that the USA needs the next President to have intelligence in both senses of the word: to be bright enough to assess situations rationally and put aside preconceptions; and to use intelligence in the sense of information correctly.

In the UK, President Bush is laughing stock, frequently mocked on comedy shows, where he is seen as thick-headed and incapable of expressing himself in English. He has damaged the USA-UK special relationship beyond repair. For example, on a course we were asked to assess several well-known personalities in terms of effective intelligence and, starting at the top, the order was: Einstein; Prime Minister Thatcher; Adolf Hitler; President Bush; and England Soccer Captain David Beckham.

I have every sympathy, though with, USA and UK forces, that have been put in an invidious position through the incompetence of media-obsessed politicians and even greater sympathy for innocent Iraqis, who have suffered even more.

The Outspoken New Yorker said...

I'm not going to say that Bill Maher is always right, however, he is a bright man.

I can see you know the situation on the ground in Iraq, but you miss the whole point of the war. I cannot reveal who are what I know to describe what I will say- to say the least I found your blog on The BBC.

You are a soldier. Your job is to support the war because if you didn't you would not function efficiently. You are not a politician or like me, someone who is working on getting their PhD in economics and public policy. You are in Iraq because American tax dollars allow you to be there. I want my money to go towards human capital (education), rather than a ridiculous war with no point.

Furthermore, our country has and always will be ruled by aristocrats. We are a representitive republican democracy, not a true democracy.

I'm so sick of soldiers trying to say this war is just. You are programmed to support the army, you do not question your superiors. Leave the politics to those who actually study it (no matter what their socioeconomic status is). You wouldn't want me to make milatary decisions for you, would you?

Remember, I support your right to live, not your right to fight. You know nothing of the historic struggles of the Middle East. If you did you would understand that this war cannot be one. As long as I pay the highest bracket for taxes I will have my voice heard. And you can have your voice heard as well. Don't think for a second that this war is not for profit, I have consulted some of the people making the money off of the war... to say the least our milatary industrial complex is proving to be all too real.

If you support the war in Iraq now I would have no problem taking away your vote. We don't let children who are under the age of 18 vote- so clearly it wouldn't be a ridiculous notion. That or we should draft all of the people who support the war and let a tour in Iraq shape their opinion.

Remember we are wealthier because we were smart enough to see the weakness in others. Economics is driven by the process of allocating scarce resources efficiently. That is why we send our poor to fight and do our dirty work. I've made tons of money off of the big H and some oil companies. Why would I if I hate them so much? Because as you said, you understand the situation on the ground. Remember that next time a poor kid dies over there. They'll believe in a cause for nothing. When we pull out, just like Vietnam, you'll have a whole generation of soldiers who will realize what really happened.

God Bless America.

王森昊 said...

看过您的作品,很不错!

whit said...

Saw the photo spread over at BBC and came back to say "Congratulations" but judging from the comments, I see the fame comes at a price.

Anonymous said...

Question.

How many close friends do you have who come from an Islamic and/or Middle Eastern background?

'Nuff said.

Chris said...

Really bad move there mixing your divisive (and idiotic) thoughts on the same platform you use to promote your art. Good art like yours can help to heal this nation or ours. Let the art speak for itself and don't say so much - you screw it up for the rest of us.

Why are your comments idiotic?
(1) Even as you link to the wikipedia page on Jim Crow laws, you make it apparent you have no idea what Jim Crow really was and that you didn't even read your own reference. I've never seen that done before.
(2) You have completely redefined 'aristocracy' to mean 'meritocracy'.
(3) See other comments above.

By the way, that 'aristocracy' idea of yours isn't so far fetched. That's why we send the poor and uneducated to war and the well-connected, Yale educated, white Anglo-Saxons amongst us (like our President George the second) can tell those brave soldiers of ours that they're fighting for freedom, democracy or whatever else will do the trick.

Ian said...

Sorry to be an arse but may I suggest that in :

"It's interesting that he is now advocating governance only by the bright.....this actually has a name, and it's not democracy, it's called an aristocracy"

"Meritocracy" might be a more apt word. We have plenty of aristocrats in the UK and many sure are not bright.

Great Blog and fine pictures on the BBC website,

Ian :o)

Fred Brennus said...

Much of this was well done until you defined aristocracy. Then I got shivers reliving the Bush/Quayle (mostly Quayle. Bush was a stand-up guy mostly.) rhetoric about the "intellectual elite". Instead of fearing "brightness", how about the country embrace it? Because strategically, as you say, other hostile nations know that if they can keep our masses in front of the TV, at the races, in the clubs, in college demonstrations, and pursuing other seemingly purposeless activity, that tactically, we will eventually be inept. More specifically, fat and stupid.

You can shudder at Maher's self-aggrandizing rhetoric all you want to. I do. But listen to the little points, look up from the TV and see that he could be right.

I'm a liberal arts major from a private school. Now enlisted in the Navy Reserve, I'm probably preparing for my turn "it". I value both my finer education and my service to the glorious cause. There is middle ground.

Anonymous said...

I dont think it is wrong for anyone to voice their opinion for an intelligent president. I guess you would rather follow dumb ones? Likening his desire for someone with an above average IQ to lead the nation to some orwellian scheme to deprive the electorate of their rights is very biased and inaccurate. Werent these what you were just complaining about?

mdfay said...

I want to respond to a couple of comments...in particular to 'Chris'. Meritocracy is a sub-category of Aristocracy, at least according to Wikipedia, perhaps you should read my reference a little more closely. Secondly, Jim Crow laws included among their wide scope of discriminatory applications ones focused on hindering voting through literacy and comprehension tests. Please refer to http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/scripts/jimcrow/glossary.cgi?searchtype=term&term=literacy%20tests

Also, to The Outspoken New Yorker, you'd take away my right to vote because I support the war?!?! You and who elses army? My right to vote, and to rant is paid in full.

I want to thank all of you for appreciating the art even as many of you disagree with sincere passion with my politics.

Anonymous said...

God bless you, and thank you for your service. Your art is powerful, and an expression of the conflicts within war. But more and more folks are thinking: is Iraq winnable? What can "winnable" now mean? The left and the right in the US call each other "the real enemy", and while the left gets increasingly clamorous, the right now blames the left for the problems with the war - a bizarre twist, given that the right's been running the war since the get-go. See: http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20061009&s=ackerman100906

Anonymous said...

Like "The Outspoken New Yorker", I found out about Mr. Fay's artwork via the BBC website. He is clearly very talented, and I enjoyed looking at the items on display on the BBC.

However, I have to take exception with many of the comments made by "The Outspoken New Yorker" I will preface this by saying that I am a member of the US Armed Forces. I am not in the Marines or the Army, but I am an NCO in a different branch that I'd rather not name here.

"The Outspoken New Yorker" says that it is Mr. Fay's job to support the war, because he, and other members of the armed services, would not "function efficiently" if they did not support it. That person goes on to say that "You are programmed to support the army" (though the article says that Mr. Fay is a Marine artist)

This is one of the most ridiculous things that I have read in quite some time. As members of the military, we will support our peers who are doing the job they volunteered to do. We're members of a team, and we will support them no matter what. That much is true.

However, to say that military folk are "programmed" to support the politics behind the decisions that send us to distant places is untrue. I know this from my own beliefs, and conversations with fellow service members. I invite "The Outspoken New Yorker" to visit one of the many discussion boards on military.com to see both current and retired members of our Armed Forces discuss a variety of issues, including our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will be pretty obvious that there are a good number of people there who believe that the US has no business being in either of those places. However, those in active service still do the job they signed up to perform. They signed a contract and they are honoring it by doing their job and keeping politics out of their daily tasks. If we tried to fight a war with a military that agreed 100% with the politics behind every conflict they were sent to, the forces would be a lot smaller. After all, we can't determine what political events will take place in the future that might draw us into conflict that is legitimate (or not.) Our crystal balls aren't that good.

"The Outspoken New Yorker" also says that "You are in Iraq because American tax dollars allow you to be there. I want my money to go towards human capital (education), rather than a ridiculous war with no point." Imagine the free-for-all if we paid taxes only for things we supported, or wanted! I have no children, so I don't want to pay school tax. The schools in my area are no good anyway, no matter how much money is thrown at them. There are some bad pot holes on my street, so I want my tax dollars allocated to fixing them post haste, since I bent a wheel not long ago.

Then to assert that a draft of people supporting the war in Iraq should take place, as it would "shape their opinion" to the one that "The Outspoken New Yorker" agrees with, is equally asinine. Let's suppose that were to happen, and "The Outspoken New Yorker" was proven to be right. Then what? What solutions would then be implemented? I'm of the opinion that the war in Iraq was poorly presented to us, but simply leaving that country as-is and bringing our military home would be disastrous. We would save the lives of American personnel, no doubt. But think of the chaos that would erupt in Iraq if we were to up and leave tomorrow. Many fine Iraqis would be caught in a vacuum of death and destruction that would make what is going on there now seem insignificant. If "The Outspoken New Yorker" wants to sell innocent Iraqis down the river to score points against a president that s/he disagrees with, that doesn't exactly read like a profile in courage, or a sensible solution that we should even begin to consider.

And to say "You are in Iraq because American tax dollars allow you to be there" - to imply that it is somehow a privilege for a soldier to be in Iraq is pretty sick. Again, a majority are there because they are doing a job they agreed to do, not because they rushed to the local recruiter in a patriotic froth and said "get me over to the Middle East now!" If these soldiers, sailors and Marines were not in the Middle East, they would still be getting paid if they were sitting in a base stateside. Granted, they would not get danger pay and the income tax exemption if they were here, but only a few would admit that having a few extra bucks at the end of the month is worth the risk of both being shot at or blown up, and from being far away from friends and family for extended periods of time.

I do not agree with many of the things that Mr. Fay wrote. I'd like to make that clear. However, I do believe that there is a large segment of our society that likes to tout itself as the one with the "correct" opinion on how the world should operate, and heaps scorn on those who do not share their beliefs. Comments made by "The Outspoken New Yorker" illustrate this beautifully. That person insults Mr. Fay as an individual in our armed forces who was allegedly "programmed" to support the war blindly while more cultured folks like "The Outspoken New Yorker" claim to be the ones who should opine on such heavy matters because, as s/he wrote:

"Leave the politics to those who actually study it (no matter what their socioeconomic status is). You wouldn't want me to make milatary (sic) decisions for you, would you?"

There you have it folks. If you are not a student of politics, or a PhD candidate in Economics or public policy, bow your head down in shame and promise never to have a political opinion again. You aren't worthy of it. This is extremely disturbing. If we back away from the subject of Iraq and look at the big picture, would you want your opinion (and vote) on any political issue silenced because of your education level, or profession? That's what "The Outspoken New Yorker" is very clear about. I appreciate that person's honesty, but shiver at the thought of living in an environment where that is the norm. I would not put my life on the line for that type of society.
And I doubt that "The Outspoken New Yorker" would either.

Mr. Fay - again, you are a great artist. I apologize for getting off topic, but I could not help but to respond to the insults and leftist pseudo-intellectualism that "The Outspoken New Yorker" chose to share. Best of luck with your future.

Kristinn Schram said...

REGARDING ARTICLE:
Respectfully, you seem to be critisizing Maher for attributing political influence to these acts of violence. That is to say reflecting the act of co-ercion.But is that not exactly what the so-called War on Terrorism is doing? Giving political credence to criminal acts?

Anonymous said...

Like may others, I came across Mr. Fay's blog from the BBC slide show of his art. I wish I'd never clicked on that link. I find this RANT extremely disturbing. I'd just like to add a couple quotes. First, one from the late Curt Vonnegut in a letter to Vietnam vet Lee Thorn:

"Everyone has to learn about war the way you did and I did, the hard way. One thing I remember from school anyway is that weak leaders about to be overthrown take their countries into war, any war. Another one: All revolutions are middle class. So a shrewd leader, if he needs a war, will make sure that the troops involved aren't upper middle class."

Lee Thorn is worthy of much respect for his efforts in helping the poor of SE Asia in recent years. As he stated recently:

"Kurt Vonnegut, who lived through the firebombing in Dresden, was a great man. He knew reconciliation is the opposite of war and that war is not only a tragedy, but also an abomination in light of our human family predicament. The solution is getting together. It is listening to one another."

and

"The people we include grow the world's food. They have all the cards. They are also the ones who will be hit earliest and hardest by global warming, except for ocean fishpeople who are even more screwed. We need to be conversing with them. They need tools for communication and respectful ways to get newly relevant information."

Its a real shame that these tools get used to produce immoral rants.

Karen said...

I love your blog and this post in particular. The critics from the BBC promotion? Who cares? They show little intelligence while professing to be intellectual. And in private schools, too. Wow. Aren't you properly impressed?

My husband was in Iraq just before the war in 2003. He can very clearly tell you why it was an important move to take out Saddam and try to establish a form of democracy in the region. Those who just don't and won't get it are pathetic and not of the world very much.

Really, after all this time, the standard Bush lied, he's so stupid, America is the bad one, are so old. No new ideas from the critics, just get out. Then what?

Also, my husband is a Vietnam vet and knows the consequences of leaving millions behind to be slaughtered. Cambodia ring a bell with all the intelligent, offended critics out there?

Keep up the good work. I've blogrolled you!

kristopher Battles said...

For all our junior etymologists out there, who have strafed the comment section of this blog, here's an interesting link on the definition of the word Meritocracy:

www.worldwidewords.org/topicalwords/tw-mer1.htm

It is interesting to note two things from this article: 1) the word is a relatively new one-- aristocracy originally also meant what meritocracy now means; and 2) The man who coined the word meant it negatively--
"...He pointed out in an article in the Guardian last month that he had intended a prophetic satire on what might happen if we placed gaining formal educational qualifications over all other considerations. This, he had argued, would lead to the permanent rejection of anybody who was unable to jump through the educational hoops, including many otherwise able working-class men and women. It would also result in the rise of a new exclusive social class as discriminatory as the older ones. So the word as he used it was not a positive one, but deeply negative in its implications for the future of society."

Interesting. Or should I say, jolly interesting...?