‘Lily Pad’ The Counterfactual Empire

October 18, 2007

As the worldwide price of oil subtly neared $90 a barrel and two US wars in the Middle East are quickly, horrifically going-to-shit in slow motion, Decider George obtained a good laugh yesterday at a press conference arrogantly avoiding a question on how he was going to rein in Blackwater, his Christian mercenary army.
Although at about the same time yesterday, the US officially rejected a UN report that Blackwater employees and others of their persuasion were in fact performing military duties, instead of just being security guards, which in turn makes them mercenaries.

Self-important irony is a stock-in-trade for Decider George.
A 1989 UN accord outlawed the use of mercenaries. The US and Iraq, among many others, did not sign it. So there’s no guilt there, just a good laugh from the scribes-in-waiting-to-the-king White House press corps.
Also yesterday a Reuters/Zogby poll showed Decider George’s approval rating fell to 24 percent, even worst than last month’s all-time record low for a Zogby survey of 29. Those polled really hate Congress, worse even than a dangerous, mentally-deranged president: An 11 percent approval rating.
Of course, a great deal of the rightful resentment for Congress stems from a sense of betrayal, a heart-felt stab of the Judas kiss by all those power-hungry, toe-the-line Democrats who exploded into office last November by a surge of voters proclaiming “Get Out Of Iraq, Now!”
And near a year later, the US is now ineradicably entrenched in Iraq.

Despite all the failings, despite the scorn, the disbelieve from the US general public (polls don’t really reveal the fearsome gloom and doom attitude of the man-in-the-street), Decider George still considers hisself “relevant.”Â
According to a story today at washingtonpost.com on Wednesday’s press conference:
“Stuck with the lowest approval ratings of his presidency with just 15 months left in office, Bush presented himself as still in command of the Washington agenda and rejected the suggestion that he has grown “increasingly irrelevant,” as a reporter put it in a question.
Quite the contrary,” he said. “I’ve never felt more engaged and more capable of helping people recognize . . . that there’s a lot of unfinished business.”
Defending his rejection of a popular children’s health program expansion, Bush said his veto power gives him leverage. “That’s one way to ensure that I am relevant,” he said. “That’s one way to ensure that I am in the process. And I intend to use the veto.”
And, of course, Decider George accepted absolutely no responsibility: It’s them low-down, pond scum Democrats. “I think it is their fault that bills aren’t moving, yeah,” he said. “I’m not part of the legislative branch. All I can do is ask them to move bills. It’s up to the leaders to move the bills. And, you bet, I’m going to put veto threats out.”
Yeah, and I’m Johnny Rocco, too. Yeah.

Still out of touch with reality: “We’re finding common ground on Iraq,” Decider George also quipped at the press conference. “I recognize there are people (in) Congress that say we shouldn’t have been there in the first place. But it sounds to me as if the debate has shifted.”

Shifted? The original location is still there. Words decribing it have changed. And thousands continue to die every day, just as they have since March 2003.

The US is in foreign places to stay. Even Iraq. Case in point: Balad Air Base, located about 60 miles north of Baghdad. A giant, sprawling complex where many of the US personnel never leave the base, where Subway Sandwich shops, a Pizza Hut and a 24-hour Burger King makes the installation just another slice of back home for the 30,000 troops stationed there.
Air Force F-16s, Army helicopters and unmanned drones use the base’s two runways, which can handle even the giant, C-5 cargo planes.
The base is an example of the staying power of US interests in the region, and around the world. The US has built a military empire stretching from Japan and Korea in Asia to Germany in Europe, though, an empire counter to the real facts. US power to instill fear and keep control, an empire’s way of life, from Rome to the UK, to even Darth Vader and the Death Star.

Balad is part and parcel for future US military operations: Giant bases all over the world where trooops, material and firepower can be stored until ready to use. These giant bases would allow the military to ‘lily pad’ from one to another without ever having to set foot on the ground in between.

And of these giant edifices? Not surely to win hearts and minds of the locals. One report allows that seen from the air at night, Balad resembles Las Vegas. While, of course, out in Iraq the locals get maybe eight to 10 hours of electricity a day.

Maybe Decider George thinks of hisself as a giant frog sitting on a giant lily pad waiting for Osama the fly.

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