Monday, January 01, 2007

Lynch Mobs, Saddam, And a Turning Point

Glenn Greenwald over at Unclaimed Territory has posted an article detailing more illegal activities committed in order to rush the execution of Saddam Hussein. He references an article in Time Magazine that discusses the 'Legal Work Arounds' that had to be implemented in order to satisfy the US Military that they were not committing a crime when handing Saddam over, to suffer an illegal execution.

Time Magazine shows a few pictures including the Shia Death Squad Members putting the rope around his neck.

It seems that the hanging was quite a celebration.

The cacophony from those gathered before the gallows included a shout of “Go to hell!” as the former ruler stood with the noose around his neck in the final moments, and his riposte, barely audible above the bedlam, which included the words “gallows of shame.” It continued despite appeals from an official-sounding voice, possibly Munir Haddad, the judge who presided at the hanging, saying, “Please no! The man is about to die.”

The Shiites who predominated at the hanging began a refrain at one point of “Moktada! Moktada! Moktada!”— the name of a volatile cleric whose private militia has spawned death squads that have made an indiscriminate industry of killing Sunnis — appending it to a Muslim imprecation for blessings on the Prophet Muhammad. “Moktada,” Mr. Hussein replied, smiling contemptuously. “Is this how real men behave?”

Evidently, there is a video circulating on the net showing the execution. Like Red State Son, I won't be posting it here. It shouldn't be too hard to find though. Dennis writes about the ghoulish glee that people are expressing after watching the video.

I can't say I'm surprised. Our thin veneer of civilized behaviour is fading fast, as predicted by those that have chronicled the decline of empires. We no longer have great accomplishments to celebrate. So instead we celebrate grisly but meaningless conquests.

I realize that my thinking here is somewhat defeatist. Atrios makes such an argument, then laughs it off as comedy. But at this time we have so much going against us, and we've been losing the battle for so long on so many fronts there's got to be a point, where anyone with a bit of rationality left is forced to admit that what we are doing is not working, and we don't seem to have any other options.

Saddam's Festive Execution by a Lynch Mob, is merely a symptom of a larger decay process in which our civilization is unraveling on multiple fronts. We're losing our energy supply, water, climate, and with these the ability to grow enough food to keep our population static, much less booming. We are engaging in massive fiscal waste, and suffering under the most corrupt government we've ever had.

But these are patterns we've seen in other long dead civilisations. Even the fight to restore our political process and turn things around is echoed in the accounts of long dead activists. And the pattern keeps turning out the same way over and over.

Sadly, we're fighting the war against statistical certainties. Essentially the more of something you have, the more predictable and deterministic the aggregate behaviour becomes. A single organism, is unpredictable. A group of organisms, becomes somewhat predictable, but still can surprise the observer. A count of billions of organisms becomes very predictable. We can observe this fundamental principle from the microscope to the petri-dish, to the herds on the plains, and finally, to humanity itself. Folks often use the argument, that we aren't yeast. And that's true, but there are a lot of similarities. We, like yeast see population explosions when there are ample nutrients to feed our growth. And as we grow, we poison the very environment that sustains us.

And if I haven't lost you there, consider that its a $Big $Business to model the herd behaviour and control it. Nielsen for instance is one of front runners in measuring and controlling human herd behaviour. They do great business in predicting our behaviour and helping marketers capitalize on their expertise. Nielsen statisticians understand that we are like yeast. They turn this understanding into dollars.

Marketing firms are heavily invested in politics. They use their knowledge of the human herd to analyze trends, predict behaviour and control it.

I'm not as certain as some that our government saw a meaningful upset in its composition in this last election. Sure, the colors changed some and some real progressives made inroads, but I don't see but a few notable figures there, that have the gumption to fight for ethical principles. I hope that I am wrong, but I believe its too early to tell if the game is still rigged or not. I think the onus is on the new congress to prove it isn't.

The kind of optimism that Atrios and many of his friends enjoy, has been unfounded in my view. Its the optimism of a compulsive gambler that has faith that one day the big payoff will come. The faith that one the occasions that the house loses, that gambler will be the winner. But in the long run, the house always wins. The house knows it. The gambler knows it. But the gambler has hope and optimism. The gambler doesn't want to hear that his or her plan for becoming fabulously wealthy will likely never pan out. Nor does the gambler want to recognize that when the big win is finally achieved, its often a squandered gain.

The fight does need to be fought, if only for gaining small moral victories in which to feed our souls and improve our karma. But recognizing that the game is lost is often seen as position of weakness. Those with the faith, tell us to have hope and they revel in it. But hope is what everyone carries with them as evil is perpetrated against them. Those that lose their hope fight back, and don't accept the insults to their lives and liberty. We're seeing this in Iraq, where the people have lost hope, and they are fighting for the right to control their own future. They are done with hoping things will get better. Now they fight for it.

Here in the US, we are all hoping things will get better. Until we lose that hope, as a collective we'll remain divided between those that have faith that things will turn out better, and those that see the system as purposely rigged against its citizens.

The Bush administration is doing a fine job of imploding the dreams of the status-quo, but we're still early in the decline. I expect 2007 to see us further plunge into lawlessness and continue to lose those things that were once precious to the People of the United States of America.

Keep on trucking, Red and Blue believers. Some people need faith. Some need strategies. At some point, the tide will turn and you'll find yourselves needing action more than hope. But I expect that will not come before the next presidency, and likely sometime after that. If you want me to believe and have faith, and to quit arguing that your efforts don't mean much, then do something different. Recognize that the strategies your employing today aren't doing the job. Congress and the media still think that the Law, the US Constitution and those that believe in it are on the margins. Show them they are wrong. Take it to eleven. Ghandi showed the way.

But you know what? Ghandi's people knew that hope wouldn't unshackle the British chains. They knew that only by demonstrating self sacrifice, would the British be shown for the tyrants they were.

But you and I know, that the people aren't ready. So it ain't gonna happen. Not until the government beats us down to the point where there is no hope left. So in the mean time, keep on trucking. I'll continue to write, garden and live my life. You can continue to get angry with me for pointing out that we aren't at the right point of the decline, to collectively work together to fix the system.

Oh yeah, Happy New Year!


At 1:34 PM, Anonymous mort said...

Yep. For a long time I thought America was different somehow, but we're not. The same patterns of greed and abuse of power that destroyed the old empires of Europe were brought here. Same story, different era. Oh well. How are the chickens doing?

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous stepback said...

What sheer coincidence that SH's lynching comes just at the moment when the US death toll in Iraq rounds the 3,000 number and then the dazzling New Year's fireworks come -followed by sleeping beauty Bush reawakening on the morning after to find himself draped in the flag, waxing eulogies and poetry at Gerald Ford's funeral. Oh the Majesty of it all.

And what amazing "luck" that it all came together so gloriously on the Truth Tube. A tripple play: death, fireworks and a resurrection under cover of flag and church. Truly a miracle. Praised be the Lord.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

A happy New Year to you too.

From my viewpoint from without, I see the necessity for 2 things to happen for any substantive change to take place in our race to extinction:

a) Americans must recognise that their elites are building an empire, and must reject that doctrine, and vote accordingly, and

b) Americans must reject the right wing Israeli influence in the conduct of its foreign/energy/trade policies.

Until and unless those 2 things happen, then the only way for the human world to survive and indeed prosper, is for America to be defeated.

That is achievable for the international community via economic means. More Bush type arrogance will make it desirable. Most of the world's populace sees America/Israel as the new Germans IMO and nobody wants to live under occupation. I think a lot of us see that as a distinct possibility.


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