Like Generations Before...

Yeah, uh huh… like in Vietnam. And Nicaragua. And Iraq.

This was my other favorite quote from Obama’s Afghanistan speech, a crass naked appeal to American conceit. Matthew Rothschild writes in The Progressive:

Our war president promised more war. While he trumpeted his big Afghanistan speech as the first step in ending that war, Barack Obama essentially told the American people that tens of thousands of our soldiers would still be fighting there for at least three more years.

A year from now, Obama said all the additional “surge” troops will be back home. But the U.S. will still have close to 70,000 troops in Afghanistan, twice the number that were there when Obama took office.

Only “by 2014,” he said, will the Afghan people “be responsible for their own security.”

And even then, Obama appears to have left himself an out. “We’ll have to do the hard work of keeping the gains that we made,” he said. But what if those “gains” aren’t kept? Would he reverse course and keep more troops there…?

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The Tide of War

So, apparently, Obama gave a speech the other day about Afghanistan. Mind you, I haven’t watched a single Obama speech ever since the ‘04 Democratic Convention keynote and the Inauguration. That was pretty much all I could stand; since then, about all I could handle was the occasional video clip on TV, or the transcripts posted on the Web. From all accounts, it was classic Obama, a rehash of the Iraq “withdrawal” announcement: out of all the clips and reports I saw, two “money quotes” really stuck in my craw, and one of them was that “the tide of war is receding” — and just in time for next year’s election. Who’da thunk it?

It’s reported that our Boy Emperor is bringing home the troops he sent when he first escalated the slaughter in Afghanistan, leaving 70,000 still there, plus leaving himself an out — of course! — allowing him to stick around if things aren’t working out for the Empire. All told, this “withdrawal” means a continuation of the war until at least 2014 — conveniently, a year into the incoming GOP administration, at which point the Liberals and Progressives will have miraculously rediscovered their anti-war voices and be cynically filling the streets again.

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Don't Call Us – We'll Call You

Sorry I’m bit late with this one; I’d originally planned to do this about a week or so ago, except the Bahrain Grand Prix story got really hot and shoved everything else out of the way.

Anyway… as you’ll recall, Obama got himself “elected” in ‘08 by pandering to Liberals and Progressives with a lot of big talk about the “fat cats” in the banks and on Wall Street – even as the Democrats were beating out the GOP in donations from Wall Street. Then, as you’ll also recall, Obama spent the next two years alienating Progressives by pandering to the banks and Wall Street, and appeasing the rightists.

So, then, a week or so back, Obama called together a bunch of the aforementioned financial industry “fat cats” to spend some time shuffling for dollars for his re-election campaign. The banksters, needless to say, felt rather alienated by all his anti-bank and anti-Wall Street rhetoric he dished out while pandering to the Progressives and many ‘08 donors were none too keen on the idea of supplying more cash for Obama’s ‘12 campaign.

Oh, well, Mr. Obama… as they say, “that’s show biz”.

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DC Flag Day, In The Flesh!

The weather was iffy all day, swinging back and forth from perfect to looking like a downpour from one minute to the next. Still, by the time showtime rolled around, it had finally settled down to something unseasonably comfortable, and the gathered crowd of DC Statehood activists and supporting citizens finally got down to celebrating Flag Day by showing off a wide variety of DC flag-based tattoos.

"In The Flesh", photographed and edited by Mike Flugennock, 04:32

And now, to augment your Flag Day Experience, here's a little trip to Song Poem Hell, with the perversely legendary Gary Roberts -- in his own inimitably atonal fashion -- crooning "Our Flag":


Death Race 2011: The Sequel

Well, here’s a shred of good news from the Arab Revolution front: after a week’s worth of hell-raising, the Bahrain Grand Prix organizers have backed off and cancelled the race. Interviewed on Al Jazeera, Bahrain International Circuit Chairman Zayed “Stability” Alzayani was spinning furiously, hemming and hawing about a positive and constructive role in Formula One, assiduously avoiding any mention of the bloody suppression of the peoples’ uprisings in Bahrain, choosing to focus on the logistical issues posed by a postponement of the race. Hey, Zayed, if that’s your story and you’re sticking to it, that’s cool, we can work with that.

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Death Race 2011

My Cartoon Movement comrades from outside the USA can certainly be forgiven for being so caught up in the recent FIFA bribery scandal that they may have missed this bit of even more appalling news from Bahrain concerning FIA, the governing body for Formula One racing, and its recent decision to go ahead with the Bahrain Grand Prix, which had been cancelled in March owing to a problem with widespread mass peoples’ uprisings.

Even more galling was a gleeful Bahraini racing officlal quoted by Al Jazeera as saying that “stability has returned” after the uprisings had been brutally crushed, and was practically wetting his pants with delight to hear FIA’s decision.

That’s right, folks — mass popular uprisings in Bahrain have finally been violently suppressed by the Bahraini police and military with the help of Saudi troops using weapons sold to them by Barack Obama, and now that that unpleasantness is out of the way… gentlemen, start your engines!*

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*Yeah, yeah, I know…they don’t say “gentlemen, start your engines” in Formula One. Just a bit of artistic license. Gimme a break.


Sarah Palin: Rolling Blunder

Normally, lately, I’ve avoided doing cartoons about the current crop of GOP politicians because I think people like Sarah Palin are a distraction and a sideshow, and because I think the Democratic Party is the more serious threat to the Left in this country and thus far more deserving of a good skewering. Still, when Sarah Palin kicked off her Making Up My Mind Whether Or Not To Run For President Tour by barging in on the annual Memorial Day “Rolling Thunder” right-wing biker gang convention in DC, it was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.

Palin’s appearance at Rolling Blunder… uh, Rolling Thunder… was comical if anything; here was this squeaky-clean ex-beauty queen showing up in a brand-new leather jacket and a brand-new helmet and brand-new sunglasses and expecting us to believe she was a real “biker mama”. That day, she rivaled Jesse Jackson in her abilities as a media-attention-sucking cosmic vortex. Born to be wild? Born to be mild, more like.

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