Fellowship of Punditry

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Cul Heath

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The Fellowship is accepting new members. Inquire within.

The Sages

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  • George Orwell

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    Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

    But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

    Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

    Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

    In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

    All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

    At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

    Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.

    John Stuart Mill

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

    The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

    A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    Mark Twain

    Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

    All generalizations are false, including this one.

    A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

    Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

    The Public is merely a multiplied "me."

    Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Winston Churchill

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.

    Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

    In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

    Otto Von Bismarck

    When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

    I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

    Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

    Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.

    Voltaire

    A witty saying proves nothing.

    If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

    When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

    To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

    Karl Marx

    Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.

    All I know is I'm not a Marxist.

    The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.

    Monday, September 27, 2004

    The truth about Iraq that neither Bush nor Kerry wants to address

    By donald

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.usUpfront let me say that I want to see John Kerry elected and George W. Bush defeated. But I have to be honest and also point out that Kerry's prescription for success in Iraq is based as much on wishful thinking as is Bush's protestations that everything is fine and dandy.

    Kerry's entire Iraq plan is predicated on the presumption that once in office, he'll be able to convince long time American allies like Germany and France to send in troops to alleviate the burden on American forces and to convince the U.N. in general to internationalize and legitimize what is now an American occupation.

    When in fact there's on evidence that any kind of convincing and arm twisting is possible. Bush has dug such deep hole in Iraq that I'm afraid America is destined to go it alone for the duration, no matter who gets elected in November. If anything, Kerry's plan for Iraq reads like a Bush plan gone rosy.


    There's absolutely no reason to believe that a Kerry victory at the polls would convince the Germans, for example, that a war they vehemently opposed and continue to view as illegal could possibly sway them to suddenly take part in it. Why would they want to? What would be in it for them? Go down the list of countries that opposed the American invasion and continue to oppose the American occupation of Iraq and come up with one salient argument why any one of these countries would change their minds on the war with a change in administrations in Washington. Frankly there isn't a single one.

    I wrote on a number of occasions leading up to this war and afterwards, that there was the danger that it would turn into another Lebanon, with the U.S. essentially fighting a losing guerilla war against a growing insurgency, and that whoever became president in 2005 would be faced with an impossible task.

    I also said to those who supported invading Iraq and toppling Saddam, not to come to those of us who opposed this war all along and ask us after the fact what we would better. I said that my answer would be, that we should have never invaded in the first place. By the time you ask that question, it's too late. I said it would be your war, not ours. We marched in the street, we protested, we pleaded not to go to war, and all our warnings fell on deaf ears.

    The debate we're having on Iraq now is the one we should have had before the war. Sadly, John Kerry was in no more of a mood back then to debate the issue than was George W. Bush. Now both candidates have this war securely anchored around their neck like an albatross.

    I can think of a number of reasons to vote for John Kerry this November. I'm afraid Iraq isn't one of them. Except that George W. Bush will no longer be in charge of a totally failed policy of preemption. That may be the most positive change I can think of. As far as ending this war sooner than later, or securing a democratic Iraq, or moving the Middle East toward peace and freedom, we lost that war the moment Bush invaded. I think both men will struggle to get out of a situation which is unwinable no matter what either of them do.

    Ultimately Iraq may degenerate into civil war. What is presently Iraq is just a conglomeration of British colonial acquisitions anyway. There's very little the Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds have in common except that they were annexed by the British and later kept together by the murderous iron hand of Saddam. What we're witnessing in Iraq today is the culmination of a century of failed western colonial intervention in the Middle East.

    As harsh as this sounds, the only real way out that I can see is for America to leave. One way or another, we're going to be driven out. In this day and age, foreign occupations especially on the pretext of nation building don't work. Democracy can never be imposed from without. Neither can America or any other outside occupier create for Iraqis a shared national identity at the end of a barrel of a gun or a blast from a smart bomb.

    I think the best America can hope for in Iraq is to leave the region to itself and try to cauterize it from further terrorist infiltration, hoping to insulate the rest of the Arab world from the chaos in Iraq. As Bill Clinton said recently, the key to true lasting peace in the Middle East rests on a long term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Anything else is a distraction. In the case of Iraq, it's an unholy bloody distraction with no hope of any achievable end that either Bush or Kerry would define as a success.

    posted by donald at 9/27/2004 06:24:00 PM |

    Comments: Post a Comment

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