Friday, October 21, 2011

Moammar We Hardly Knew Ya...

Ruth Marcus
Maureen Dowd
"You got to feel bad for poor Mitt Romney. He's in their plugging every week, and every week somebody gets ahead of him. The people who have led Mitt so far: Donald Trump, then Michele Bachmann, then Rick Perry, now Herman Cain. He's been led a reality show star, a crazy lady, a stuttering cowboy, and the guy who brings the pizza. That's gotta hurt a little." – Bill Maher

"Herman Cain's plan to save the economy is '9-9-9.' He keeps saying it every day like the Count on Sesame Street. Well, this week we finally found out where he got it from. Not from an economist. He got it up from the guy who works at his local Wells Fargo branch. Literally, it's like he went down to deposit checks, and the teller said, 'Can I help with anything else?' And he said, 'Yeah, can you re-write the tax code?'" – Bill Maher

"Rick Perry got the date of the American revolution wrong by two centuries. What is it with the right wing? Michele Bachmann doesn't know where the 'Shot Heard 'Round the World' took place, Sarah Palin doesn't know why Paul Revere went on his ride, Rick Perry doesn't know that 1776 happened in the 1700's. These aren't gotcha questions. I know this sounds mean about Rick Perry, but if was a child, you'd leave him behind." – Bill Maher

"This Occupy Wall Street movement is now in 1,500 places all around the world. I was at the Occupy Beverly Hills today. It's two Jews at Starbucks complaining that the scones aren't fresh, but still it's a start." – Bill Maher

with apologies to the Moody Blues:

Moammar Qaddafi's dead.
No, no, no, no, He's outside looking in.
Moammar Qaddafi's dead.
No, no, no, no, He's outside looking in.
He'll fly his US bought plane,
Set his tent up around the bay,
And lecture you the same day,
Moammar Qaddafi. Moammar Qaddafi.

Along the coast you'll hear them boast
About his compound that is filled with fear.
So raise your glass, we'll drink a toast
To the little man who tells you
 now the coast is clear.

The jig was up, missiles brought him down,
Dragged by his feet firmly on the ground.
He flies so high, he swoops so low,
He knows exactly which way he's gonna go.
Moammar Qaddafi. Moammar Qaddafi.

He'll fly his US bought plane.
Set his tent up around the bay.
He'll lecture you the same day.
Moammar Qaddafi. Moammar Qaddafi.
Moammar Qaddafi. Moammar Qaddafi.
Moammar Qaddafi.

“Ben Ali escaped, Mubarak is in jail, Qaddafi was killed. Which fate do you prefer, Ali Abdullah Saleh? You can consult with Bashar.”

Altogether, these past few years have not been kind to dictators, especially in the Middle East. It began with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Empire, and now has spread through the Middle East like a wildfire. Unfortunately, those who did not get out of the way suffered in the end. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is home to one errant dictator, and shelter of another, and they have propped up yet another dictator in Bahrain. If Yemen and Syria shed their dictatorial families, the politics of the region will have been changed forever. A test case in what to do after someone is deposed comes up this Sunday, with elections in Tunisia.

All of these protests and revolutions started out peaceful and non-violent, escalating into military action after the governments shot and killed unarmed civilians. The ultimate bloody results happened with pulling Moammar Qaddafi out of a drainage culvert, then shooting him execution style,and bringing his body back to town for viewing. (one o the secret places that Qaddafi had, was his place to watch porn. This makes me wonder if all dictators have their places to watch porn and if there's any special themes that might be commonly enjoyed between Qaddafi and bin Laden and perhaps Bashar Assaud...) Perhaps we can thank wahabism and al Qaeda for promoting their extremist views, which have only resulted in needless deaths by suicide bombers, and resentment among normal folks. Which is why the vast majority of Muslims preferred a peaceful approach to getting their message across.

I wish that life after Qaddafi and Mubarak and Ben Ali was going to be all rosy and positive, but they have left behind dysfunctional governments that may never be able to guarantee basic human rights, and their armies are sorely tempted to take over in a coup. They could easily devolve into becoming another Pakistan, and if their are enough Iranians salting the mix, end up with their share of paranoia and conspiracy fantasies.

The biggest loser in this soupy muddle are the Israelis. They could have shown more solidarity with the movements towards democracy, but that will never happen as long as the right wingers and Benjamin Netanyahu are in charge. The biggest winner is the US, and maybe France, whose role in this region is constantly changing, first you love us, then you hate us, then we invade someone until you love us again as we withdraw...

So, good-bye to an era, of colonial powers and client states, having the British deciding on the borders and which tribe would rule. Good-bye to allowing dictators to rule for years and years, and letting protests bloom if they disagree with your policies. Good-bye to religious intolerance and hello to dervish dancing and music. Good-bye to propaganda on television and hello to cellphones and the Internet. Who will design the next Facebook and Youtube for the Middle East?


  1. Cain may sound like hiding behind his 999 tax plan all the time but he does have a reason to be proud of it. The tax plan really does make sense ( you can rad the tax plan in detail from here: )

  2. Ol' Ed here is a computer program that scans the Internet and sends out this link to the herman cain tax plan. ed is short for a reference to Thurston Howell 111, a character from Gilligan's Island. which was popular when Mr Cain was a student. It supports Rachel Maddow's contention that Herman Cain is an art project, not a presidential campaign...


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