Apr 2, 2008

Ruled by a dick


Between 18 and 22, a woman is like Africa: Half discovered, half wild, naturally beautiful with fertile soil.

Between 23 and 33, a woman is like Canada: Well developed and open to trade, especially for someone with cash.

Between 33 and 43, a woman is like India: Very hot, relaxed, and convinced of her own beauty.

Between 43 and 50, a woman is like France: gently aging but still warm and a desirable place to visit.

Between 51 and 59, a woman is like Great Britain: with a glorious and all conquering past.

Between 60 and 65, a woman is like Yugoslavia: lost the war and is haunted by past mistakes.

Between 66 and 70, a woman is like Russia: Very wide and borders are now unpatrolled.

After 70, she becomes Tibet: A mysterious past and the wisdom of the ages.... only those with an adventurous spirit and a thirst for spiritual knowledge visit there.

GEOGRAPHY OF MEN Between 1 and 80, a man is like America: ruled by a dick.


The history of Mr. Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States of America, self elected and demonstrably not obliged to follow the normal rules that even George Bush, the president, follows, like reporting Security Procedures, is an interesting one.

The current confrontation between Mr. Putin , the Russian president who as a younger man ran the KGB very successfully, and Mr. Bush, reared as a pampered son in a powerful political oil family, strikes one as unequal, but the contrast with Mr. Cheney is equally striking. Most candidates for the presidency of the USA negotiate in detail with other political groups and interests on filling the vice president slot, but in Bush’s case the political strategists, (“Turdblossom” as he is affectionately known in Washington, also known as “Bush’s Brain”, Mr.Karl Rove, and Tom “the Hammer” Delay, to enforce redistricting in Texas and obedience in Congress, not to mention Mr. Doug Feith at the OSP, the Office of Special Plans, taking care of foreign relations) already had all that taken care of, and in addition the head of the Bush campaign in Ohio also owned the company, Diebold, that made the touch screen voting machines, without paper trail, without record, no names, no pack drill. “The fix is in” – there was no need to worry about the vote pulling power of a vice president, and Bush simply asked Cheney to take charge of finding him a suitable vice president. Cheney came back after a time and told Bush he’d done that, and chosen himself, and so “self elected” seems a very accurate description.

From the beginning the Cheney vice president’s office, heading the neoconservative team including Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle (“the Prince of Darkness”), through the good offices of the American Enterprise Institute, where aspiring young Republicans posted their resumes and were rewarded with ministerial posts in Iraq, always steered a very independent course. Early in the Iraq war, for example, Bush gave strict instructions that Ahmed Chalabi, (a convicted bank fraudster with a 20 year jail sentence hanging over him, and supplier of some of the dodgiest “evidence” to the New York Times) was not be given any special treatment or privileges. Cheney’s “Office of the Vice President” put a plane at Chalabi’s disposal to fly him and 200 of his henchmen to Baghdad. He bagged the post of Oil Minister without really trying.

How the president, George Bush, reacts, if at all, to this open rebellion is very difficult to say. The description of a fellow Texan to Mr. Bush’s position is instructive: “Like a tortoise placed on a fence pole, he can not get down without being lifted down. He can only wave his legs”. George W. Bush’s past, as the mint julep consuming eldest son of a powerful oil family in the fraternity, does not qualify him to know very much, or know how to do very much. He needs above all a reliable and competent major domo, a chief of staff. During Bush’s term as governor of Texas this function was performed by a Democrat, successfully and honestly, but who would do it in the White House? Dick Cheney fitted perfectly. When Bush recently ordered the Capital Gains Tax to be left as it was, Cheney by his own efforts persuaded the Senate to put the reform item back in. What could Bush do? He is a turtle on a fence post in Texas, able only to wave his legs until someone lifts him down.

It was in June 2007 that Mr. Cheney’s position became even more bizarre. As required by law, all government agencies and departments, including the president, report their process for handling security documents and procedures to a body called the Information Security Oversight Office. Mr. Cheney has refused to allow the Office of the Vice President to do so, though his office did so in 2000 and 2001, claiming that since his office has legislative (the VP has to serve as tie breaker in any cases of an exactly even split in the 100 member Senate, see?) as well as executive functions, it is outside this process, thereby creating, in addition to the traditional three branches of government in the USA, - the executive (President), the legislative (Congress), and the judicial (courts up to the Supreme Court), - a fourth branch, apparently not under any legal requirements or supervision at all. The only description that fits the situation is that given by Keith Olberman, a political commentator, that the Office of the Vice President must be a rogue state and should be invaded forthwith.

Meanwhile, the planned distribution of Iraqi oilfields to selected US oil companies, described on C-Span by Greg Palast who talked to some of the people at the meetings, goes full steam ahead with no serious obstacle so far. The Energy Council meetings early in January 2000 that Dick Cheney refuses to come clean about (Executive Privilege) involved oil company executives from the big majors, and maps of the Iraqi oilfields with dispositions after acquisition. An American contractor, appointed by Bush, has drawn up a plan for the assignment of Iraqi oil field to various US companies, and the conditions they would operate under, approximately seven times more favorably for the oil companies than any other current contract world wide. This scheme, essentially carrying out the dispositions worked out at Cheney’s January 2000 Energy Council meetings, now called the Iraqi Oil Distribution Plan, laying out the division of oil revenues to the various parts of Iraq, as well as their assignment to oil companies, is presently wending its way through the Iraqi parliament, while the US is completing its massive 3,000 staff 242 acre “Embassy” in the green zone, bigger than Vatican City, to control the various US bases being built, to protect the interests of their companies. It’s full steam ahead for the original plan.

“From ghoulies and ghosties and things that go bump in the night/Good Lord deliver us!”

June 25, 2007

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