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The Gaza Bombshell
March 3, 2008 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 (94 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
That can't be good for business.
posted by kbanas at 11:34 AM on March 3, 2008


When your business is war, things like this are great for business.
posted by ryoshu at 11:39 AM on March 3, 2008 [11 favorites]


When your business is war, things like this are great for business.

Touche!
posted by kbanas at 11:41 AM on March 3, 2008


The Beatles The Fool on the Hill just popped up in my playlist.

Day after day,
Alone on a hill,
The man with the foolish grin is sitting perfectly still,
And nobody wants to know him,
They can see that he's just a fool,
But he never gives an answer,
But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down,
And the eyes in his head,
See the world spinning 'round.
posted by DU at 11:42 AM on March 3, 2008




Wow it seems like Condeleeza Rice and Clarence Thomas are in some kind of race. I wonder what the prize is?
posted by Rubbstone at 11:46 AM on March 3, 2008


Oh good.

With the situation in Columbia, the situation in Palestine, the situation in Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan, etc, the quote that keeps coming into my head is one from The Venture Brothers .

The Monarch is sitting in his control room and says something like "The Monarch has his fingers in many sinister pies..."

It sort of means something else in context, but the Bush Crime Family indeed does have its fingers in many sinister pies.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:46 AM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Well that's nice of them.
posted by Artw at 11:47 AM on March 3, 2008


Surely this will...oh, nevermind. I keep waiting for an angry mob to descend on Washington, only to realize everyone's too busy.
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:47 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


The pardonings, they will be many. Can you self pardon?
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's not so bad. I mean, they did, after all, totally fuck up their sinister little plan.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:53 AM on March 3, 2008


To quote Patton Oswald, "There ain't no way they're gonna' get outta' this pickle!"
posted by Dave Faris at 11:56 AM on March 3, 2008


I wish they would provoke spicier bbq sauce on these ribs I'm eating.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 11:58 AM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Fatah and Hamas hardly need any provocation to start shooting at each other.
posted by PenDevil at 12:03 PM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


I wish I could say I was surprised. Instead, I can only say I am ashamed.
posted by chillmost at 12:04 PM on March 3, 2008


Not to be a spelling wonk, but it really is Colombia. Columbia is different.
posted by sporb at 12:07 PM on March 3, 2008


There are worse things this administration might have done. And we will eventually discover that they did them all.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:07 PM on March 3, 2008 [10 favorites]


With the situation in Columbia...

Are you talking about the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal is coming here? Cause I don't think that will be too bad.
posted by ND¢ at 12:09 PM on March 3, 2008


But isn't this what modern governments do, and always have? Destabilizing enemy countries is in the national interest, even if it's scummy on a human level. There isn't a world power out there that hasn't done a little international financing of the opposition party, covert funding of the rebels, or a little rousing of the rabble.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:10 PM on March 3, 2008


I used to eagerly await the day when things would devolve into cartoonish supervillainy. I'm less enthusiastic about that now.
posted by aramaic at 12:11 PM on March 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


To quote Patton Oswald, "There ain't no way they're gonna' get outta' this pickle!"

possum on a gumbush, them duke boys are gittin' away agin'.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:11 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


"To quote Patton Oswald, "There ain't no way they're gonna' get outta' this pickle!"

possum on a gumbush, them duke boys are gittin' away agin'."

Sqeuu dee deedle dee
posted by symbioid at 12:15 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


At least they're not sending soldiers over to the Middle East to kill puppies.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:16 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


But isn't this what modern governments do, and always have? Destabilizing enemy countries is in the national interest, even if it's scummy on a human level. There isn't a world power out there that hasn't done a little international financing of the opposition party, covert funding of the rebels, or a little rousing of the rabble.

Yebbut, I'm still trying to figure out a time the US has destabilized an "enemy" and it has actually worked to serve our national interests. Note, national interests != military industrial complex interests.
posted by ryoshu at 12:17 PM on March 3, 2008


Raise your hand if you still believe there's going to be a different President next year.
posted by tommasz at 12:18 PM on March 3, 2008


Astro Zombie writes "At least they're not sending soldiers over to the Middle East to kill puppies."

What in the David Motari are you talking about?
posted by mullingitover at 12:22 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


It would be nice if we had an opposition party in this country who wasn't full of pussies.
posted by delmoi at 12:24 PM on March 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


Wow. America sucks. Where's the Weather Underground when you need em?
posted by Rusty Iron at 12:24 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm still trying to figure out a time the US has destabilized an "enemy" and it has actually worked to serve our national interests.

I think, when it works, you don't even hear about it. It's only when it doesn't does it bubble up and cause problems. And it doesn't necessarily need to lead to all out civil war or military coup... I would imagine that a low to medium grade pain-in-the-ass rebel problem would be enough destabilization to keep a country from invading an ally, or whatnot.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:28 PM on March 3, 2008


Raise your hand if you still believe there's going to be a different President next year.

*puts both hands in pockets*
Huh? When did I buy prunes?
posted by wendell at 12:34 PM on March 3, 2008


I think, when it works, you don't even hear about it.

I find discussions that include statements like "Oh, it's done well all the time, you just never hear about the successes" to be similar to "Oh, rabbits do math all the time, they just don't like to publish their proofs."

This US government has a terrible track record when it comes to keeping secrets about their failures in international politics. Are we really to believe that they are exceptionally skilled at covering up their successes?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:35 PM on March 3, 2008 [20 favorites]


Dave Faris writes "I would imagine that a low to medium grade pain-in-the-ass rebel problem would be enough destabilization to keep a country from invading an ally"

Or trying to overthrow a US-backed dictator, or acting in the interests of their own citizens...
posted by mullingitover at 12:36 PM on March 3, 2008


Eliot Abrams is a militant, extreme-right Zionist who thinks Sharon was to conciliatory. Numerous commentators wrote articles at the time of his appointment to his current post, predicting stuff exactly like this.
posted by cell divide at 12:42 PM on March 3, 2008


Yeah. No doubt about it, the US government has a terrible track record. But don't fool yourself into thinking that there haven't been any successes, nor that it's just the US government that plays this little game.

"Oh, rabbits do math all the time, they just don't like to publish their proofs."

Well, Canada hasn't invaded us yet, have they? The tiger repellent must be working.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:42 PM on March 3, 2008


This US government has a terrible track record when it comes to keeping secrets about their failures in international politics.

I sincerely hope this is the case. Twenty years from now I don't want to read a story about their brilliant but failed plan to secretly poison all of Iran's kimchi imports in an attempt to destabilize a member of the axis of evil. But it wouldn't surprise me.
posted by folgers crystals at 12:50 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


With all the other shit I gotta worry about, the RCMP is using frickin tigers now??

thank god at least I'm not allergic to cats
posted by ook at 12:52 PM on March 3, 2008


David Samuels' profile on Condoleeza Rice in the June 06 Atlantic has some pretty good background ) on the overall strategic logic (or lack thereof) that led to the Bush Administration pushing Fatah into war (start at page 3 if you want to skip some hagiographic depiction of Rice's legs and sports watching habits).

In general, though, that the administration's hand was behind this conflict is not a surprise; but it's good for historians to have the documentation before it's shredded by Cheney.
posted by bl1nk at 12:52 PM on March 3, 2008


But don't fool yourself into thinking that there haven't been any successes, nor that it's just the US government that plays this little game.

True, but what evidence we do have would seem to suggest that these days the US plays this game much more than everyone else and with much worse consequences for people who aren't Americans.

And despite what other countries may or may not be doing, what the US does is morally reprehensible.
posted by ssg at 1:01 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm still trying to figure out a time the US has destabilized an "enemy" and it has actually worked to serve our national interests.

How about the USSR. Though one could argue that we've screwed it up since then.
posted by humanfont at 1:04 PM on March 3, 2008


I'm still trying to figure out a time the US has destabilized an "enemy" and it has actually worked to serve our national interests.
The US backed invasion of Somalia by Ethopia is still TBD but it has the potential to be a textbook method for sponsored regime change (ie. don't do it yourself; empower a dependable, local proxy to do it for you; and keep a low fucking profile)

Kosovo might turn out well assuming it figures out its new independent niche.

If you're willing to broaden the scope to saying that it strictly served short-term national interests but are willing to ignore how badly it screwed over the local population, then you can include a wide swath of Latin American assassinations and coups that installed a bunch of right-wing despots and tyrants, furthering the national interest of keeping the Western Hemisphere largely out of Soviet influence. Granted, because of that, the US is associated with repression, corruption and terror in nations like Argentina or Guatemala but, hey, it's not like any Guatemalans have blown up any buildings in America.

(not that this definition of blowback ought be used as the sole method for gauging the worthiness of any foreign endeavor)
posted by bl1nk at 1:05 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


History generally does not view empire builders kindly, and your proxy approach will fool no-one.
posted by Artw at 1:07 PM on March 3, 2008


I can think of two examples that involved the US but as the recipient, and not the giver ... the American Revolutionary War, when France loaned the colonies money in an effort to overthrow and destabilize the common enemy of Mother England; and England, who gave money and support to the US Secessionist government in an effort to protect their own financial interests in keeping the slave trade alive, even though they banned it on their own shores decades before. One worked, one didn't.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:13 PM on March 3, 2008


I share with these two leaders the vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security
-- President Bush, January 10, 2008

Well, Canada hasn't invaded us yet, have they? The tiger repellent must be working.

Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is working like a charm!
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: [uncomprehendingly] Thanks, honey.
Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Hmm. How does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work; it's just a stupid rock!
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: (pause) Lisa, I want to buy your rock.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:15 PM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


This story isn't exactly a scoop. It's hardly a secret that Dahlan was egged on by the US - see, eg, Rashid Khalidi writing in August 2007:

'It didn’t take much encouragement for the national security adviser Muhammad Dahlan, with the at least tacit backing of Mahmoud Abbas, to succumb to American blandishments and try to mount an armed putsch against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Whether Hamas pre-empted this with a coup of their own, or whether Fatah made the first move, is ultimately irrelevant. Neither movement was able to see that such deep divisions would mean that they had even less chance of achieving their national objectives. In this, they have been equally irresponsible. And, of course, much of the blame must fall on the Bush administration.'
posted by Mocata at 1:17 PM on March 3, 2008


tommasz : Raise your hand if you still believe there's going to be a different President next year.

I won't speak for anyone else, but I've got a torch and a pitchfork if there isn't.
posted by quin at 1:23 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am willing to take any bet you want to make that Bush will leave office when his term is up. There is no way in hell he can stay in power. For one he just doesn't have the popularity, but more importantly I don't think he is willing to go down as The President Who Ended Everything. I know it seems like Bush has destroyed many American institutions in just 8 years, but not leaving office is a different level of destruction. There's no way to pretend that you are just playing politics. Instead you are going from a democratic government (albeit a democratic government where power overwhelmingly favors the rich and powerful) to a military dictatorship. That's just not going to happen.
posted by aspo at 1:40 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not unless there's some kind of emergency. You don't change horses in mid-stream.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:41 PM on March 3, 2008


Given George the Lesser's penchant for making up laws on his own via signing statements and executive orders, I wouldn't be surprised at all to find he thinks he can just cancel or negate the election on some pretext. At time he acts a hell of a lot like he is planning to do exactly that. I don't think they are too worried about quin's torch and pitchfork since they have the M16's and nukes, but I have some doubt (alas not as much as I'd like) that the military would go along.
posted by localroger at 1:42 PM on March 3, 2008


Ok localroger, tell me when Bush has acted a hell of a lot like he is planning on negating the election. Seriously. I pretty much hate almost everything Bush has done in office, but that just isn't true. You want to claim he rigged the elections? Florida 2000 that is pretty much a given. But not holding the 2008 election (or just refusing to step down from power?) There is just no way.
posted by aspo at 1:48 PM on March 3, 2008


Pff. He's pretty much done. Don't make him a bigger thing than he actually is.
posted by Artw at 1:49 PM on March 3, 2008


I thought you meant Gazza. One of the few instances of instability where the Bushies aren't to blame.
posted by grounded at 1:49 PM on March 3, 2008


"Ya know Watergate hurt
but nothing really ever changed
A teensy bit quieter
but we still play our little games"

-Dead Kennedys, "I am the Owl"
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:49 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why does GWB need to stay in power when he can ensure the election of McCain? Not that I think he wants to carry on being president, but if he's depraved enough to be tempted, ratcheting up the fear level by, say, timely exposure of terrorist plots isn't beyond him. That would do it.
posted by topynate at 1:52 PM on March 3, 2008


Bringing on the apocalypse is one way to dodge congressional subpoenas.
posted by srboisvert at 1:55 PM on March 3, 2008


Ok localroger, tell me when Bush has acted a hell of a lot like he is planning on negating the election. Seriously. I pretty much hate almost everything Bush has done in office, but that just isn't true. You want to claim he rigged the elections? Florida 2000 that is pretty much a given. But not holding the 2008 election (or just refusing to step down from power?) There is just no way.

All he needs is another attack on American soil right around election time.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:58 PM on March 3, 2008


Well, the sky is gonna fall in 20 years anyway -- it's true. I read it on Metafilter -- so what does it matter anyway?
posted by Dave Faris at 1:58 PM on March 3, 2008


aspo writes "I am willing to take any bet you want to make that Bush will leave office when his term is up."

Yeah, I wouldn't underestimate his vanity. He wants to go out smoothly, and have the public validate his presidency by electing another republican.

However, if the election turns into a referendum on Iraq and John "100 more years" McCain is losing in a landslide running on an anti-hope platform, all bets are off. Like I said, vanity.

East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 writes "You don't change horses horsemen in mid-stream apocalypse."

ftfy
posted by mullingitover at 2:03 PM on March 3, 2008


And, Israel helped to fund Hamas (in its infancy) a long time ago. To quote:

>According to former State Department counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson, "the Israelis are their own worst enemies when it comes to fighting terrorism."

>"The Israelis are like a guy who sets fire to his hair and then tries to put it out by hitting it with a hammer."

>"They do more to incite and sustain terrorism than curb it," he said.
posted by gsb at 2:09 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


topynate spoke: Why does GWB need to stay in power when he can ensure the election of McCain? Not that I think he wants to carry on being president, but if he's depraved enough to be tempted, ratcheting up the fear level by, say, timely exposure of terrorist plots isn't beyond him. That would do it.

that's exactly what will happen this year.
posted by Substrata at 2:16 PM on March 3, 2008


Raise your hand if you still believe there's going to be a different President next year.

Can we start betting on this? Like, really? Daddy needs a new pair of shoes financed by tinfoil hatters.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:35 PM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Those of you who think it's possible or likely for Bush to somehow try to stay in office are counter-productive. What you need to understand about Bush Jr. is that he's not some sort of dark overlord, he's a piece in a large machine which doesn't care exactly who's in office as long as the oil keeps pumping and the weapons keep getting bought. Sure it's nice to have one of your inside guys (even if he's the idiot son of one your guys) at the levers of destruction, but as long as you're assured of getting another one back in there every 4-8 years, it's not a big deal. GWB is more then ready to leave and live out the rest of his life as an Ex-Pres. Maybe he can finally be commissioner of baseball.
posted by cell divide at 2:44 PM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Maybe he can finally be commissioner of baseball.

...where he can royally fuck up America's pastime.
posted by nevercalm at 3:04 PM on March 3, 2008


cell divide: your arguments are very rational. That's why I don't fully believe them. Rationality hasn't stood me well in predicting the arguments of this Administration: frankly, if I simply assumed that they did the worst possible thing for the country in each case, I'd have had a better prediction rate.

I don't really believe that he won't leave office - everybody's sick of President Bush, even George Bush itself - but yet I wouldn't be utterly, utterly surprised if something happened and he did stay on...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:35 PM on March 3, 2008


Maybe he can finally be commissioner of baseball.

Someone should tell Congress that he isn't.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:35 PM on March 3, 2008


quote

"It would be nice if we had an opposition party in this country who wasn't full of pussies."

True. The pussies will be caving on telecom immunity by the end of the week.
posted by wrapper at 3:56 PM on March 3, 2008


where he can royally fuck up America's pastime

Been there, done that.
"I made my arguments and went down in flames. History will prove me right." -- Texas Rangers owner George W. Bush after voting against realignment and a new wild-card system during a Major League Baseball owners meeting in September 1993. Bush was the lone dissenter in a 27-1 vote.
He also traded Sammy Sosa (when Sosa was good and presumably pre-steroids).
posted by kirkaracha at 3:56 PM on March 3, 2008


The best case scenario:
Bush leaves the White House and becomes a consultant for a firm that banks on his best ideas as the worst things to do.

The worst case scenario:
Use your imagination... the sky is the limit.
posted by Huplescat at 5:18 PM on March 3, 2008


I miss when all of the tinfoil lunacy was compiled into troutfishing. I didn't realize he'd fissioned and returned in legion.
posted by sciurus at 5:47 PM on March 3, 2008


Mr_Zero, Bush has done a ridiculously large number of things that no sane person would think will stand for more than 5 minutes with a new President. Surely no sane person would expect the signing statements, the post-facto telecom immunity, the conduct of the war itself to survive the attentions of a new President who campaigned against Bush's 17% rating. So why bother to do those things at all? Some of the things he's done are actually rather forward looking (in a "gee wouldn't a truly Fascist state be a great thing" kind of way). Those plans great and small go down the toilet if a truly differently thinking President comes in after him -- and that includes his cool revamping of the Justice department to make his own officers immune from contempt for failing to cooperate with oversight hearings. A lot of people stand to go to jail if there is a smooth transition of power to a progressive President, and Bush and his friends really can't afford to let that happen.
posted by localroger at 5:58 PM on March 3, 2008


Well, getting out of the fairy tale land of the conspiracy theory derail, and back to the original post's point, be sure to check out Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner. In it, he describes in detail all the huge snafus and covert bung holing that the CIA has perpetrated in the name of US foreign interest over the last 50 years.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:15 PM on March 3, 2008


... the American Revolutionary War, when France loaned the colonies money in an effort to overthrow and destabilize the common enemy of Mother England

I'm not really sure if its violent overthrowing and systematic slaughter was really an outcome (or even eventuality) that the French monarchy would have considered positive if it had the privilege of your hindsight. But were your examples meant to simply suggest that this type of shit has worked (and not worked) out in the favor of the USA? I suppose you're right.

As for this 'civil war' can we hope that it will end in a holocaust? Those have a history of 'working out' (for someone or other).
posted by Shakeer at 6:19 PM on March 3, 2008


It would be nice if we had an opposition party in this country who wasn't full of pussies.

I lost whatever vestige of remaining faith I had in the American political system when I came to the conclusion that, rather than being affable bumblers who try to do the right thing but fail because they lack the ruthlessness of the Republicans, the Democrats know exactly what they're doing: positioning themselves as the slightly-better-than-the-other-guys party while never allowing their rhetoric to trump the interests of their corporate and special interest paymasters.

They run the same playbook every time: profess support on a given issue for the position actually endorsed by a majority of the American people; blame the nefarious Republicans for derailing their efforts; then come around and endorse essentially the same position as the GOP. They come out smelling like roses--better to be seen as weak but with your heart in the right place rather than as the GOP's partners-in-crime, which they actually are--and the cycle begins anew with the next freedom-eroding, popular-will-denying initiative.

And agree with cell divide. Why are the Democrats having a fundraising windfall this cycle, leaving the Republicans relatively cash-strapped? Because the people who buy politicians recognize which way the wind is blowing. Bush did his best to redistribute income upwards for eight years, but now that he can no longer (legally) occupy the White House, his usefulness is at an end.
posted by Makoto at 6:21 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bush has done a ridiculously large number of things that no sane person would think will stand for more than 5 minutes with a new President.

Probably true, but the efforts the Bush administration put into enlarging the powers of the executive into a body answerable to no one will remain in the background for future presidents, Republican or Democratic, to misuse. Once a bureaucratic institution stakes out a piece of turf, has it ever relinquished it without a fight? And democratic governments are understandably not very good at dealing with issues as long as they can be swept under the rug for the time being. The American people are clamoring about a lot of things, but the unitary executive isn't one of them.

In the long term, I think Bush's most notable "contribution" to American history won't be the Iraq debacle, but the legitimization of irresponsible government by the Presidency. Once it's out there, it's out there--and I'm sure we'll be seeing it again in our lifetime. And if it resurfaces when the public is a little more complacent, the Congress and judiciary are a little more compliant...
posted by Makoto at 6:35 PM on March 3, 2008


But isn't this what modern governments do, and always have?

I don't believe my country, Canada, is doing this sort of shit.

But maybe that's one of the great differences between our countries: in Canada, I think we'd have a lot of very upset people were this news to come up. In the USA, people like you just sweep it under the rug with a "well, at least we're not as bad as the worst" excuse.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:45 PM on March 3, 2008


Makoto writes "They come out smelling like roses--better to be seen as weak but with your heart in the right place rather than as the GOP's partners-in-crime, which they actually are--and the cycle begins anew with the next freedom-eroding, popular-will-denying initiative."

As ever it shall be, for until the death of winner-take-all voting we will only have two viable political parties.
posted by mullingitover at 6:47 PM on March 3, 2008


People like me? What kind of people are they? And I wasn't doing any sweeping. It's called "perspective." Try getting some.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:08 PM on March 3, 2008


Seriously, I guess if Canada has managed to become the superpower that it is without resorting to covert machiavellian plans and schemes, more power to you. I wasn't trying to do any sweeping. I was suggesting that what Bush apparently did is not anything new, though that in no way excuses it.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:21 PM on March 3, 2008


It's called "perspective." Try getting some.

what is this "perspective" stuff you're pitching? is it the same stuff that makes killing a few dozen innocent people to further some personal agenda mass-murder while bringing about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in pursuit of "national interests" is just politics as usual? because if so, i'd like to officially join e.e. cummings, twain, vonnegut and pretty much every other american in history who had even half a brain in calling that kind of "perspective" a load of shit.

ironically, i think what you're describing is actually a lack of perspective--specifically, a narrowing of perspective that privileges one particular point of view over others, which is not only morally questionable, but scientifically unsound.

now you'll have to forgive me if i'm being incoherent or belligerent. i've been laid up with a fever for a couple of days now and am probably just frothing at the mouth.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:50 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's an Eschereque perspective you're pushing on us, Dave.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:06 PM on March 3, 2008


But maybe that's one of the great differences between our countries: in Canada, I think we'd have a lot of very upset people were this news to come up.

Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Canada has been riding on American coattails economically and militarily for decades. Were Canada not so conveniently located, it would not have developed the high standard of living it enjoys today without aspiring to be a superpower -- and being a superpower is a dirty business.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:54 PM on March 3, 2008


Ah, yes, the "Canada's safe by the sweat of the American brow" argument.
posted by moonbiter at 11:47 PM on March 3, 2008


Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we import more oil from Canada than anywhere else. Riding our coattails can't be more costly to us than George's Excellent Iraqi Adventure, can it?

Before we hit Iraq, oil was $36/bl. Where is it now?
posted by trondant at 12:02 AM on March 4, 2008


tommasz : Raise your hand if you still believe there's going to be a different President next year.

I won't speak for anyone else, but I've got a torch and a pitchfork if there isn't.


NOVEMBER 2008:
Week 1: Barack Obama wins the Presedential election. There is much rejoicing.
Week 2: Obama is assassinated by a quiet loner with no ties to Dick Cheney or the Bush Administration, no sir. Assassin is himself assassinated by an angry citizen, also with no ties to Dick Cheney or the Bush Administration.
Week 3: Terror-O-Meter goes to red, state of emergency and martial law declared. Assassin "proven" to have ties to Iran.
Week 4: Bush declares sweeping, dictatorial powers for "the duration of the crisis". Democratic congress does nothing to oppose it, because golly, they wouldn't want to make any waves or anything.

DECEMBER 2008:
Week 1: Nothing happens. Headline scroller on Fox News reads "were elections really that good of an idea in the first place?"
Week 2: Nothing happens. Bill O'Reilly attacks "liberal whining and treason in a time of national crisis".
Week 3: Nothing happens. Life in general for average yokels unaffected. Dissent generally only expressed by liberal moonbats on them 'blog things.

Nothing continues to happen, until:

2009:
Congress abolished. United States renamed "Christian Nationalist Republic of America". Bush installed as President for life. Abortive attempt at secession quashed in Vermont. Life in general for average yokels unaffected. New season of American Idol gets record ratings. Iran invaded. Invasion of Iran triggers WWIII between the US and alliance of EU/newly formed Mideast Alliance. UK and Poland secede from EU, sides with US. New York City mostly destroyed in bombing raid. Life in general for average yokels much the same, they didn't care much for them liberal elites in NYC anyway. Sales of CNRA flag decals (the CNRA is the old US flag, with the 50 stars replaced with a golden cross) soar.

And so forth...
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:45 AM on March 4, 2008


Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Canada has been riding on American coattails economically and militarily for decades. Were Canada not so conveniently located, it would not have developed the high standard of living it enjoys today without aspiring to be a superpower -- and being a superpower is a dirty business.

Poor America. Always having to be evil for the sake of power.
posted by srboisvert at 2:49 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hey, I'm not saying they're right, but from their perspective, they surely think it's better for the Palestinians to fight amongst themselves than to strap bombs to people and blow up Israeli markets.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:15 AM on March 4, 2008


How did this thread end up on a discussion of how Canada is so awesome? (I think we can all agree it is.)

I think it's cool how America likes to start civil wars all over the place. They know what they know, and they stick to it.
posted by chunking express at 4:53 AM on March 4, 2008


all the tinhatters need to realize that in order to pull off a successful call for martial law, you need the full cooperation of the nation's military (ie. 99 Musharraf Pakistan, 72 Marcos Philippines as ways to do it; 07 Musharraf, 86 Marcos as examples of what happens when you don't have popular military support)

If Bush lost '04 to Kerry, I think that he could have feasibly staged a coup that would have kept him in power. The nation was still psychologically enmeshed in the War on Terror and the military had not yet burnt out on the Iraq War. Iraq was already starting to turn sour at that point (ie. Abu Ghraib photos, Siege of Fallujah + Madhi Rebellion, etc.) but if Bush went all Northwoods and staged some kind of terrorist incident on American soil, I think some kind of continuation of power could have been engineered.

Now though? Good luck with that. I am sure that significant chunks of your military would mutiny at the prospect of a third Bush term; and I think that prospect, more than anything is what protects your Constitution.
posted by bl1nk at 5:39 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why bother with a military takeover. A good propaganda offensive and a pliant public is all one needs. In fact, one could argue that the famed military-industrial complex has already subverted democracy in the United States through the funding links of military/infrastructure contracts and Congressional districts. And that's just a small sliver of what goes on.

All this talk of Bush staying on is pathetic. I'm sure the winner of Clinton vs. McCain will be very similar, in foreign policy terms, to Bush.

Obama will disappoint, as do they all.
posted by gsb at 8:34 AM on March 4, 2008


Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Canada has been riding on American coattails economically and militarily for decades. Were Canada not so conveniently located, it would not have developed the high standard of living it enjoys today without aspiring to be a superpower -- and being a superpower is a dirty business.

First, I'm a Canadian who knows the difference between disliking parts of another country's policies, and just hating on Americans. Can I say here that I like Americans?

Notwithstanding, the above italicized quote is of course purest bullshit. First, economics 101. Good neighbours buy stuff from each other. It's not like we receive US aid, FFS. Canada happens to be resource rich, and alotta people like buying our resources.

Military support? Clue: there hasn't been that many people that want to attack Canada, for some reason. You might say our proximity to the US increases our danger.

Finally please take it from me, we do NOT wanna be a superpower. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts... etc etc. We got eyes.

...

Ok, where were we again?
posted by Artful Codger at 10:48 AM on March 4, 2008


We were wringing our hands and bemoaning the fact that Bush = Bad, and that no one, ever, before or since, has ever tried to use covert tactics to undermine a foreign government.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:58 AM on March 4, 2008


Really? Because it seemed to me that there was a lot of historical discussion over whether or not it was a good idea.
posted by Artw at 11:20 AM on March 4, 2008


We were wringing our hands and bemoaning the fact that Bush = Bad, and that no one, ever, before or since, has ever tried to use covert tactics to undermine a foreign government.

Ah yes. Thanks.

He is? They have?
posted by Artful Codger at 11:34 AM on March 4, 2008


He is. They have.

(Charlie Wilson's War is a great movie, incidentally.)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:37 AM on March 4, 2008


I am sure that significant chunks of your military would mutiny at the prospect of a third Bush term; and I think that prospect, more than anything is what protects your Constitution.

Maybe so, but I fear that signifigant chunks of our military just like to mess with weapons and push people around. Then there's the cops, who are getting crazier all the time... not to mention Blackwater.
posted by Huplescat at 3:11 PM on March 4, 2008


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