* Bullshit baffles brains
While contemplating the wisdom of the ancient Romans (as above) it occurred to me that my problems in understanding how the international political system works is that I have overlooked the inherent bullshit factor which baffles our understanding of why governments behave as they do while protesting that they are actually doing something else. There seem to be major outbreaks of bullshit wherever one turns.
I was listening to the speech by Barack Obama yesterday where he said that in order to raise revenues to stay below the budget debt ceiling a policy of budget cuts must be introduced as well as a rise in the tax revenues derived from the highest income earners in the US. There was a wail of opposition to this from the Republicans about raising taxes on the rich. I am a simple, and probably a linear person, but I can’t understand why this is such a problem. If you can’t raise money from the people who have money how in Hell are you going to raise it from the people who don’t have it? It’s a simple question; if you don’t tax the rich, where will the money come from? There is a concomitant flow of bullshit which clouds this issue. The Republicans say that the rich will use their wealth to invest in jobs which will trickle down wealth to those who are poor and unemployed. Up to now there has been no sign of any such activity and the jobs that have been created have been created primarily in China. Even if the bullshit were true there is at least a four to ten year lag in employing people in new jobs while the crisis is immediate. One should deal with the problem not the bullshit.
I read this morning that the French have decided that it is part of their self-imposed humanitarian defense of Libyan civilians, as described in the UN Security Council resolution, to drop major quantities of weapons and ammunition to the Libyan rebels. There is an embargo on weapons deliveries to Libya by the same organisation the French cite as their legitimacy for bombing and attacking Libya. The UN resolution says that there is a need to protect the civilians from harm. Nowhere does it say that killing Kaddafi and effecting ‘regime change’ is a legitimate consequence of the resolution. Now the French are posing a series of bullshit principles which pretend that all these consequences of the violations of the UN resolution were implicitly implied in the resolution if you looked hard enough. This is pure, unadulterated bullshit.
Perhaps the French were encouraged in following this policy as a result of their experience in the Ivory Coast. Since 2002 the French have armed the rebels there, sent in troops and inveigled others in as part of UN Peacekeeping. They have attacked the Ivorian civilians repeatedly and recently used French tanks, heavy armour, helicopter gunships and special forces to capture the legitimate president of the country. They supervised the killing of thousands of unarmed civilians in the name of “democracy” and left the country in a desperate shape. The rest of the world bought this bullshit and called it ‘inspired’. It was almost as inspiring as the French democratic slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans and thousands more in the Southern Cameroons. The ‘international community’ seems happy to deal with the bullshit, not the policies.
Yesterday the United Nations extended the presence of the UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These peacekeepers have not only not kept the peace but have been active participants in the rape, mayhem and slaughter in the Kivus, Kasai and parts of Katanga. The DRC Government (as did the Ivory Coast government) had demanded the removal of the UN peacekeepers from the DRC. A Congolese soldier who rapes a 12 year-old-girl is technically guilty of a war crime. A UN soldier who commits the same act usually enjoys impunity. The UN has refused to leave and is in the country as an occupying force. Despite the insistence of the population, the government, the various refugees the occupation will continue. It is supported by the same bullshit fiction that these bands of rapists, murderers and petty thieves pretending to be peacekeepers (including the French at Ituri) are somehow protecting democracy. Calling it democracy doesn’t mean that it isn’t really just bullshit.
We read that the European Community and the IMF have succeeded in ‘rescuing the Greek government from a debt crisis”. This is also pure bullshit. Not one Greek will benefit from these austerity measures. It should have been called the “Rescue of the European Banks”; or how to buy time to offload their debt onto the European citizens. The government is unable to service its external debt, because its income, now slashed even further, isn't even enough to cover even its internal obligations (public salaries, pensions, education, defence, etc.). With the last assistance the government lost US $9.3 billion from its earnings compared to its last year.
These "experts" now suggest more loans at higher interests with unbelievably high insurance premiums just enough to pay out previous external debts (to the European banks) and its interest for the next three years at 18.85%. Soon, even more debt assistance will be needed and it will take a hundred years to pay off the huge overhang if they are lucky. This notion that the Europeans and the IMF are helping Greece is pure bullshit. It is impoverishing the Greek population, reducing any chances of the growth of the economy, and transferring the bulk of this debt to the European population while protecting the banks. The Greeks who are protesting, as well as the Spanish ‘Indignants’ understand that the whole maneuverings by the ECB and the EU bureaucracy are to protect and isolate the potential risk to the European banks (private and public). It is the bullshit that is discussed, not the realities of the situation.
The logical thought patterns of the international community are clogged with the barriers of self-indulgent mountains of bullshit. It is probably too much to expect rationality from them, even when it is in their self-interest. I’ll leave out the immense bullshit surrounding the ‘flotilla’ on its way to Israel or the unilateral declaration of the State of Palestine. There already is a “Two State Solution” created by the UN; to be precise: resolution 181 of November 29, 1947, on the partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state. It is the very basis of Israel’s independence. This resolution is still in force. The problem is that the Palestinians never accepted the resolution because it would have meant accepting Israel as a legitimate state. So, why all the bullshit and fanfare on a matter resolved in 1947?
So, I’ll go back to my musings on the lessons of the classics. I shall not pretend to understand why the international community only feels happiest surrounded by a blanket of bullshit. The Romans understood that their empire was capable of many unpleasant acts. They had the humility to say that: bonitas non est pessimis esse meliorem (It is not goodness to be better than the worst).
Dr Gary K. Bush in ocnus.net, le 30 juin 2011