Abandoning a Metric System
Most nations of the world use the metric system. Rather than rely on a vision thing, or a freedom agenda, crazy and backwards people of say Sweden, China, Singapore, Canada and so on, prefer a simple system where measures fit together, things add up, and one can make easy comparisons. They ask, "how many of our citizens have electricity?" Or, "can our best and brightest go to college and study medicine or engineering without incurring a debt of $200,000?" (By the way, med school in Australia costs about $2,500).
For too many Americans, who are all the while waiting for the rapture (my bet is on 2012, check your Mayan calendars), numbers and math and reality just are not important ... except when they bother to count in red and blue. So despite all his folly "you commit a racist, torture 'em now, rape 'em later military to an illegal war and occupation with the metrics you have, not the metrics you want" at least Rumsfeld openly talked about numbers.
Okay, so he rejected random sampling that found that the death rate in Iraq was over four times what it was from 1991-2002, since the March 2003 bombing and search and destroy campaign, but at least he said we need to know (or invent) some kind of numbers.
Of course, Rumsfeld was part of the problem of American Empire. Schooled in the practices of Vietnam (white phosphorus is nothing like napalm) and Reaganite realism (man I love those profits from selling chemical weapons to dictator like Saddam), Rumsfeld knew a good thing when he had it. How did Smedley Butler put it? War is a Racket!
That was Rumsfeld's course. Obviously his vision-thing was about getting rich, but he told that we ought to count (something)! In fact, all of Western political and scientific thought is based on calculations (just ask Karl Rove). Folks who are into counting, starting from the Enlightenment forward ate part of the Liberal tradition (damn, I knew there was a catch).
All good scientists and researchers and economists and politicians count data, observations, assign values, weigh options and their interests. So while he was wrong-headed about war and is a war criminal (if I can stand for eight hours why can't you handle a little torture?), Rumsfeld had the proper framework for governance one needs to count!
But now Bush has fired Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld's replacement is supposed to be Robert Gates. Now I know that G. W. Bush is really his own man. First Cheney picks himself as VP, lines up the Nixon set and gets them jobs. Then when the chips are down, Cheney calls in Daddy's pit crew. Like the Hamilton-Baker commission [sic] will say anything other than Kissinger's "declare victory and get out!" Does anyone besides Amy Goodman and those of us who read remember Iran-Contra?
So Bush picked a former Cheney underling Cheney has Bush's full confidence. Or is someone just getting punked?
Here's a funny. Why did the Aussie let a Fox guard the Chicken Hawk nest? So the war criminal, terrorist, drug dealer could tell his story to the other side.
I can see it now. Any day, Robert I didn't know nothing about mining no harbors of Managua Gates will do an interview with Oliver North on Faux news [sic]. (Did Hannity get Gates on the radio yet? I heard that Rush is not going to carry his water). The former Reagan-era terrorists will trade "war stories" about the good old days when you could pay mercenaries to attack the government of communists like Daniel Ortega. (Wait a minute is that guy back?) They will reminisce on how the great Imperial Viceroy, John Negroponte and folks in battalion 316 and graduates of the School of Americas took care of religious fanatics (damn those Catholic nuns). By the way, how is Negroponte making out now?
Regardless the real question is, will Gates help Bush change course or give what Bush calls a fresh direction?
What did Bush say the other day?
"... I think it sends a bad signal to our troops if they think the commander in chief is constantly adjusting tactics and decisions based upon politics. And I think it's important in a time of war that ... we leave politics out of the major decisions being made."
Bush added, "We will work with the Baker-Hamilton commission. ... while we have been adjusting, we will continue to adjust to achieve the objective. ... Stay the course means 'let's get the job done,' but it doesn't mean staying stuck on a strategy or tactics that may not be working." 
That sounds like a new (mis)direction.
What can we expect from a former director of the CIA? Let me see. What is the company's track record? Overthrow of a democratically elected government in Iran (Mossadeq 1953), copied that in Guatemala (1954). Supporting dictators and military governments in Indonesia, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Haiti, Chile, Brazil, Iraq (we call him Saddam) Argentina, Panama (love that pineapple), Angola, South Africa ... get the picture? The CIA was instrumental in aiding the international drug trade in heroin and cocaine through Turkey, Iran, Burma, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Colombia. Nothing like spreading democracy!
Then we had the Casey-Gates-North plan of trafficking cocaine from Colombia to LA. Even a CIA Inspector General admitted it, years after Gates and Co, denied the truth. Where was the Washington Post on that? Part of their illegal foreign policy project laundered drug money through Panama, while guns went to the terrorists in Nicaragua. (I just love a good drama ... Did the good guys win Ollie?)
The Failed Vision Thing
This past week Bush said,
America remains a nation at war. We face brutal enemies who despise our freedom and want to destroy our way of life. These enemies attacked our country on September the 11th, 2001; they fight us in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they remain determined to attack our country again. Against such enemies, there's only one way to protect the American people: We must stay on the offense and bring our enemies to justice before they hurt us again.
That is not new. It is the same old lie. Rummy's DoD already told us, the invasion of Iraq has been a PR campaign for al Qaeda, that terror attacks are on the rise every year, and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11! (I forget can anyone remember if some guy named G. W. Bush made that last point?).
But from the larger perspective, Bush's old whine is just spilling out of old bottles Chateaux du Cold War, circa 1951. How do I know? Look at Bush's next line,
"The Secretary of Defense must be a man of vision who can see threats still over the horizon, and prepare our nation to meet them. Bob Gates is the right man to meet both of these critical challenges."
"Bob understands the challenges we face in Afghanistan. As President Reagan's Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, he helped lead America's efforts to drive Soviet forces from Afghanistan. Success in these efforts weakened the Soviet regime and helped hasten freedom's victory in the Cold War." (I cannot invent this stuff Bush is a great straight man, no pun intended Mr. Mehlman).
I told you that Bush see this as Cold War XVII (or something like that). And Bush lauds Gates, a guy who helped to create the Taliban and al Qaeda!? When will Bush go full-McCarthy and clear out all the al Qaeda sympathizers in the Congress, the State Department, the New York Times, and America's Business Schools? That Military Commissions Act is not going to be repealed for at least two months let's go Gitmo!
So we are told that there will be change in Iraq. What could that mean? Bush claims that there is a constitutional-democracy there. Well, I have yet to see one non-White country with any semblance of democracy that the CIA likes. But the Negroponte-esque death squads have been in Iraq for a while. Al-Maliki is supposedly friends with Maqtada al-Sadr, so what is the new direction or strategy? The bombing runs with cluster bombs, fleshettes, and depleted uranium work well. The Iraqi hospitals either get bombed or raided by U.S. troops. Bush says that we cannot just pull out. They guy who liked to count things was just booted. But the guy who was involved in drug running and promoting dictatorships is in. Hmm, the new direction is ...
Bush said it, we are not pulling out of Iraq until the job is done.
Let us do the metrics no WMDs, Saddam is facing execution, Bush claims that there is a democratic government spreading the freedom agenda, the British and American military claim that our presence only destabilizes Iraq and encourages more violence, over 350,000 and perhaps around 1,000,000 Iraqis have died due to the war, the Congress allots about $8 billion per month to fund an illegal invasion, Bechtel is officially leaving Iraq, what can the job be except perpetual war?
What can "mission accomplished" mean if not record oil company profits, higher military budgets, and the status quo? Guess what the number one campaign issue in the 2008 presidential election will be, maybe fighting the war on terrorism? Who'd a thunk it?
I tell you what it won't be. The issue will not be restoring honor and dignity to Washington because the Congress listened to the public and ousted the criminals. No, you have nothing to worry about Bush, fellow war criminals, torture-memo writing generals, and all you racist jingoists. Your friends across the aisle, Pelosi, Rangel, Reid, Howard Dean and other Democrats have said, there will be no impeachment and no cut in the funding of the illegal occupation and rape of Iraq. The message from the elites to the public is, "full speed ahead, damn the metric system."
 CNN, President Bush Gives a News Conference. Nov 8, 2006, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0611/08/cnr.03.html
 Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil and War.
 See Robert Perry, The Secret World of Robert Gates, Consortium News | November 9, 2006
- http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/11/20061108-4.htmlOriginal article courtesy of Virtual Citizens.Virtual Citizens provides free content to global media.