Friday, September 18, 2009

How times change...

On November 18, 1931, Japanese troops staged a fake railroad explosion in southern Manchuria and used this "attack" on Japanese interests to justify invading Manchuria.

Once upon a time, there had to actually be a violent act against you to justify going to war. Or at least a staged one, like the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine or a fake attack upon Germany by "Polish soldiers". That all changed on March 20, 2003, when President George Bush the Lesser established the precedent that you can invade without bothering staging a fake attack upon your nation -- all that's necessary is to say that country X might, at some point in the distance future, be a threat to your nation and presto, instant excuse to invade!

I'm an elderly enough penguin to know that the "good old days" weren't so golden. Institutionalized racism, for example, was rampant and legal in every state of the United States. Still, at least there were some moral conventions that had to be followed back then to justify extraordinary acts like invading other nations, and it seems we've gone forwards on civil rights, but gone backwards in far too many other things...

-- Badtux the History Penguin


  1. Wouldn't you say that we've gone forward in honesty, since there was no faked invasion?

    Now where are those WMD's . . . ?

    JzB the honest trombonist

  2. I like "George Bush the Lesser".
    Good phrase.
    But Pirates don't care. If they want a smash and grab they do it. Everything else is window dressing.
    No decline here -- just a change in fashion. Used to have to wear a boiled shirt front; now a graphic tee will do. Same gd peace conference to plan the next war.

  3. Egotists only need their brains to decide who is attacked.

    Vanity has become the rage in this country.

    We used to be a humble nation and that is why we had respect. We knew of our imperfections and tried to right the wrongs…now this nation attempts to forget the wrongs and believe we have always been right.

  4. Thinking about it more, what's missing is a sense of shame. A sense that there are some things decent men do not do, that if a decent man does, he should be ashamed of, and thus if a man does one of those things he should do so with subterfuge and excuses rather than openly and blatantly. Today there is no such sense of shame, and thus today if a Joseph Welch asked a Joe McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" it would not have shocked the nation the way it did in 1954, because the answer, for us as a nation today, is "No."

    It is more honest, perhaps. But I miss the notion that there are some things men of integrity, of decency, do not do. I do not think we are a better nation for discarding that notion, even as we have moved forward on oh so many other things...

    - Badtux the Decency Penguin

  5. George the Lesser. Hehe. I've been referring to him as King George II meself, but I have to remember this one.

    History, it just repeats. Humanity, we just don't learn.


  6. There's a sense of shame, all right. As in "Shame on YOU!" Something to throw at others, not to have in regard to yourself. Mark Sanford is a prime example. (How can he even appear in public? And he has 500 days left in ghe goobernor's orifice?) As is Larry Craig, David Vitter, all sorts of Repukes I could mention. Bill Clinton didn't show much of a sense of personalhame either. At least Elliott Spitzer and Jim McGreevey had enough shame to resign.

  7. Badtux, I love your blog. If this comment is beyond the bounds, feel free to delete it.

    Shame, yes, I have felt shame. For 40 years I have paid for my insane patriotism that caused me to enlist in the us army and go to help in a war that I was totally opposed to. Vietnam.

    My fiancee told me when I told her that I had enlisted and she broke off our engagement, "You'll regret this for the rest of your life." If she lives to be 150 years old, she will never make a truer statement.

    The three separate massacres of unarmed helpless Vietnamese that I witnessed and did nothing to stop still has me apologizing to any Vietnamese that I stumble across.

    Yes, I am clinically insane. No, I have no memory of most things for the last 20 years because my brain is physically changing my memory components trying to kill the memories that torment me. No, I can't tell you what I ate for breakfast, but I can see dead people in my dreams every night.

    Yes, I receive compensation.

    But, goddamit, I'd like my life back.

  8. Even Johnson had a fake attack in the Gulf of Tonkin to justify escalation in Vietnam. I always thought Bush was going to plant WMDs in Iraq and then declare Mission Accomplished Part II when troops discovered them.

  9. "I always thought Bush was going to plant WMDs in Iraq and then declare Mission Accomplished Part II when troops discovered them."

    Actually, they did not need to. There was that supposed convoy of trucks going into Syria right before the invasion. That is where all of those WMDs went. They did find WMDs just ignore the part about them being from prior to Gulf War I.

  10. What about a false flag attack?
    False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations which are designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one's own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy's strategy of tension.

    What exactly did we do after 911? If nothing else, Bushco certainly used it to do exactly what it wanted to do.

    So, just what are you talking about History Penguin?

  11. I assume you're trying to claim that 9/11 was a false flag operation. That's utter nonsense. We have too much evidence from both supporters and opponents of the Bush Administration to believe that. RIchard Clarke, for example, noted that several of the 9/11 hijackers were on FBI watch lists and expressed shock and amazement that they'd ever been allowed to board jet airliners. He wasn't exactly a supporter of the Bush administration, in case you've been living under a rock for the past eight years...

    I must say, however, that I'm still amazed that the Busheviks didn't bother planting any WMD in Iraq. I guess the Decider's decision was, "Iraq done been invaderated, ain't no need to do none of that." Siiiiigh!

    - Badtux the "Conspiracies have limits" Penguin

  12. BT @ 6:45 and Nothing raise a good point. Vanity and egoism knock over and suppress any sense of shame because of the notion of American Exceptionalism. I don't know where or when it started - probably some time in the 20th century, most likely after WW II. 'Cuz we kicked Jap and Nazi ass with God on our side

    We are superior to the rest of the dirt eaters on this sad rock, 'cause we be Godd-feerin' "Merikins." Truth Justice and the Merikin way always triumph. Never mind we slunk out of Veet Namm with our tail droopin'. We sure kicked Granada's sorry ass. And that freakin' Soddim. And ben Ludin if'n we ever find him . . .

    Oh, fuck it.
    JzB the exceptional trombonist

  13. I cant believe that here we are in 2009 and people are still buying into this moonbattery! Do we need another lesson on the ACTUAL reasons we invaded iraq?

  14. Actual reasons we invaded Iraq? Had nothing to do with WMD, Saddam breaking some treaty, or bullshit like that. a) Sonny Bush was dead set on proving Daddy wrong by going to Baghdad and overthrowing Saddam, even though Daddy said it was a bad idea. b) Haliburton needed profit. c) Asshats who thought they could reform the whole Middle East if they invaded Iraq and set up their model neo-con state there.

    But no WMD. I knew that before we went in, the moment I read the first report from Hans Blix's weapons inspections. It takes industrial infrastructure to build WMD, and Blix's teams went to every industrial site in Iraq, every place along the raw crude pipelines (needed to make WMD) that could possibly be a hidden WMD factory and found... nothing. Less than nothing. Worthless rubble, for the most part, destroyed by U.S. cruise missiles, bombs, and years of sanctions. No industrial infrastructure = no WMD, and Iraq's industrial infrastructure was in ruins, operating on basically the same level as that of the USA in the 1890's. An industrial infrastructure that primitive is simply incapable of building WMD. Anybody who took the time to read Blix's report and knew the first thing about what it takes to manufacture WMD would have realized that, despite Blix's caveats and hypotheticals, there was no there there. So anybody who claims we didn't know Iraq was WMD-free before the first troops entered Iraq is either ignorant, stupid, or a lying bastard. 'Nuff said on that.

    - Badtux the "Facts are facts" Penguin


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