Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Donning the ALCOA Sombrero

I'm sure most readers have become at least vaguely aware that the U.S. is in the midst of a major naval deployment to the Gulf that dare not speak its name. Time Magazine has mentioned it, and various bloggers have offered tidbits here and there. This article at Global Research has details, which include extending the deployment of the U.S.S. Enterprise carrier group, deployment of the U.S.S. Eisenhower carrier group (which the Global Research article calls a "battleship," perhaps because the author's first language is not English), along with submarines, a group called Expeditionary Strike Group 5, which appears to be configured for amphibious assault, and Coast Guard vessels. (The Coast Guard possesses ships that are extremely formidable in comparison with the assets of Third World navies, including 200 foot cruisers with artillery fore and aft and batteries of 50 caliber machine guns amidship.) Canada has also dispatched warships to the region. And no doubt you have read speculation about Cheney administration intentions to bomb Iraqn [I'm as bad as the Washington Post], possibly using nuclear weapons -- much of which is backed up by tidbits of evidence.

This article was the subject of a Kos diary that attracted numerous comments from knowledgeable readers, if you are interested in seeing a discussion about this. The author, I think, is glaringly ridiculous in proposing that the Lebanon peacekeeping operation is actually a fig leaf for deployment of NATO forces to the eastern Mediterranean in support of the coming war with Iran, although I suppose European leaders could see it as a reasonable precaution in case a conflict expanded unpredictably.

As I'm sure you also know, this massive naval deployment has received almost no attention in the corporate media. It's a secret from nobody except the American people. Of course, there's a story about sex right now, which even though it has nothing to do with public policy, is bound to be far more important. The Cheney administration has already declared its intention to attack Iran. Although the corporate media assure us that this is just a stick to back up negotiations, that's what they told us about the military threat against Iraq.

It has become, in the words of Malcolm X, "incandescently clear" that this gang will do absolutely anything to hold on to power. If there is any important public policy implication to the Foley scandal, that is it. Now there is a looming possibility that Democratic control of one or both houses of Congress could occur in January. While I have no illusions about the courage or integrity of the typical Democratic member, nor about the ability or willingness of the party to seriously challenge the one-party rule of plutocracy, a Democrat controlled chamber could make things very inconvenient for the current ruling clique and steer much of the vigorish away from its friends.

They will stop at nothing to prevent that. Nothing. Perhaps the Nightly News should feature some consideration of the possibilities.

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