Ã¢â€â€œverb trans. (used with object)
to take something in good condition and make a complete shit of it : I installed Windows Vista and it Mugabed my computer
[Origin: 1300-50 Old Shona ; mogabeh: Gobshite]
With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them.
That’s what Col Nate Sassaman of the 4th Infantry told the New York Times in 2003.
Now, although I recoiled initially when I read this quote, I have to confess there’s a certain grim logic in there somewhere — a sort of logic the Americans are good at. The comment reminded me of the immortal statement by a US officer in Vietnam: it became necessary to destroy the town to save it.
Operation Iraqi Freedom? No. It isn’t a joke: that is what they actually called the invasion. Americans don’t do irony, which is both their strength and their weakness.
The strength lies in the fact that they’re able to breed hundreds of thousands of people who can say Sir, step away from the car without laughing.
The weakness is that they never know when they’re making complete fools of themselves, as they have been doing in Iraq for nearly five years, but the problem doesn’t stop there. Americans’ lack of irony also makes them blind to another fact: their entire nation has been hijacked by Bush and Cheney with a view to making money for themselves, and it doesn’t matter how many American troops or Iraqi civilians are killed in the process. Just as long as Bush, Cheney and, of course, Halliburton, make a lot of cash.
It doesn’t matter that they had a valid war of necessity in Afghanistan where the Taliban were harbouring the people who had directed the attacks on New York. It doesn’t matter that Bush chose to pursue a war of choice against a country that had nothing whatever to do with the 9-11 attacks: Iraq. It doesn’t matter that in doing so he stressed his forces to breaking point and diluted their power to tackle al-Qaeda. It doesn’t matter that he turned the formerly-secular Iraq into a breeding ground for Islamic zealots. It doesn’t matter that the world was teeming with brutal ruthless dictators, each one of them just as bloodthirsty and repulsive as Saddam, and that Bush cared not a jot about them.
None of that matters in America once you start pushing the buttons. Patriotism. Our troops. Global war on terror. Peace. Freedom. Democracy.
I see Bush has been at it again in recent days. Now he’s worried about Pakistani democracy.
Listen, George, I know you have a room-full of highly-paid advisers, and I know that every last man-jack of them will have more Harvard degrees than you could shake a cruise missile at, but I need to point out one thing to you. There’s no democracy in Pakistan. There never was and there never will be.
And I’ll tell you something else: the Pakistanis don’t care.
Pakistan is a tribal nation, just like Iraq, just like Syria, just like Afghanistan, just like the United States in many ways, and when George sees elections, he thinks he’s looking at democracy, but he’s not. He’s looking at assemblies of serfs pooling their votes to get their feudal lords into high office. Nobody in Pakistan is weighing up the options. Will I vote for Candidate A or Candidate B? The PPP’s supporters are so upset because their feudal champion has been killed and they don’t know who’s going to look after them now. Benazir Bhutto was a huge feudal landowner in Sindh and it was through the votes of tenants that she formed her power-base.
You don’t believe me that Pakistan is a feudal society? You think the PPP is an ordinary democratic party just like any other? Right then. Tell me of another party where the leadership can be passed on to a nineteen-year-old boy through somebody’s last will and testament.
And you know something else? It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a feudal, tribal society. It works in many of the Gulf States. It worked for the First Nations until the Americans came and slaughtered them. You could even argue that the Republicans and Democrats have many characteristics of tribes and that their four-yearly presidential elections are no more than a show to cover up the fact that feudal lords rule the US. You think not? You think perhaps, that a poor man could be President of the USA? Well, all right. Bush is a poor human being but he isn’t a poor man.
The United States has been fairly selective about the feudal, tribal societies it wants to bring peace and democracy to. For example, it was in no hurry at all to bring peace and democracy to its friends in Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that the majority of the 9-11 attackers were Saudis, funded by Saudi money. Likewise, though the US made great play of the famous Iraqi weapons of mass destruction — which turned out to be non-existent — there was another brutal dictator, who was known to have nuclear missiles, and who, that same year, was threatening to fire them at an ally of the US. Of course I’m talking about North Korea. Did you notice anything in the news about Operation North Korean Freedom? No. Funnily enough, neither did I. Just like we never heard of Operation Chinese Freedom.
On the other hand, the US hasn’t been too keen on some democratically-elected leaders. Salvador Allende was elected President of Chile in 1970, but because the US didn’t like the stripe of his politics, he was deposed and killed in a CIA-backed coup three years later.
Let’s not forget the United States’ active support for other vile, ruthless dictators. For example, we had the appalling Noriega, the military dictator of Panama, a cocaine-dealer and money-launderer who was on the CIA payroll for many years. Eventually, the Americans deposed and arrested him, but it wasn’t because he was a criminal, murdering drug-dealer. It was because they thought he might be spying for Cuba.
Then there’s the support for the ridiculous and corrupt Somoza of Nicaragua, and their continuing support for the Contras after the Sandinistas took over. You might recall this was the time Ollie North was selling arms to Iran and passing the money on to the Contras to get around a Congress ban on funding them.
They supported the vile Reza Pahlavi, self-declared Shah of Iran, who wrought terror throughout his domain through the medium of the dreaded Savak secret police.
In South Vietnam, they supported an absolute crook Ngo Din Diem, who came to power through a ludicrously-rigged election. They supported him militarily and after his assassination they went to war in his country, visiting misery and destruction on the people there for no good reason and with no gain for anyone. Muhammad Ali refused to join the Army:- Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?
The administration even supported the Khmer Rouge, for God’s sake, after the Vietnamese overran them and ended the slaughters of the killing fields.
But would you like the ultimate proof that they don’t mind who they support? Well then, I offer you one Mr Saddam Hussein, whom the Americans cheerfully backed for decades, until it became expedient to drop him. (Expedient for Halliburton, I mean).
Now. Let’s just get back to this freedom business for a minute. What exactly, I wonder, does George have in mind when he talks about freedom?
Let’s take the United States itself as a yardstick. I know the US is the freest nation in the world, because I’ve seen all the Bruce Willis movies.
So, in the US, are you free to take a picture of a factory that you think might be polluting a river? No. You’ll get arrested under the Patriot Act.
Well then, surely you have more religious freedom? Nope. At least not if you want to open an Islamic school.
Ah, but they surely have a constitutional safeguard for the sanctity of human life? Eh, that’d be a no. They have one of the highest judicial execution rates in the world.
But your skin colour doesn’t matter? Oh gimme a break.
They must have guaranteed health care like in any civilised democracy, mustn’t they? Yes, if you can afford it.
And education? The same.
Oh right. And these are the people invading countries that didn’t attack them? In the name of freedom? And lecturing people like you and me when we voice misgivings or dare to disagree with them?
These are the people who, in the name of peace, reduced Iraq to a smouldering, bloodied wreck, multiplied the misery of its people a hundredfold, spat on their dignity and customs, installed a bunch of crooks in government and proudly declared Iraq a free, democratic land.
As Judge Judy says, Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.
I was just sitting down to contemplate the mysteries of a solid black pint of Guinness when Jimbo walked in. He was wearing the sly little smirk that tells you he’s pulled off another stroke involving vast profit, and he wants you to ask him about it.
Well? I said. Tell me.
Ah, he said, you’ll love this.
Well, he said, you know the way you thought the government would be hammered in the election?
Don’t remind me, I groaned.
And you remember how I thought they’d do well?
And I said to you, if they get in this time with a bigger share of the vote, it will be five years of corruption and giveaways to their pals until all our money is gone.
Hurry up, I said. My pint is going flat.
Well, said Jimbo, I took a bit of a gamble and I invested all my spare money in a single product. I’ve cornered the market. I’ll be the sole supplier.
What else? said Jimbo with a triumphant flourish. Brown envelopes!
Goddammit, where are you?
I paced the floor anxiously as Ireland’s hopefuls faced up to the worst that Argentina could throw at them.
Where the hell are you, damn you!
I knew that, somewhere in South America, Bock’s elite Military Wing had inserted itself covertly into a rugby stadium and would, even now, be desperately trying to establish a satellite uplink.
What the hell was going on? Had some evil Policia Federal ambush wiped out our heroic operatives?Ã‚ Had the Argentinians gone back to their old tricks in football stadiums?
Dammit all to hell, where are you??
And then, just as I was giving up hope, there it was. The merest tremble on my receiver, but sign enough that they had got through. The mission was under way.
On the Avenida Salaverry, the message read, they talk of little else. Roadside shrines in homage to the great magician PJ Mara are appearing outside the casinos of San Miguel and Magdalena. In the leafy suburbs of Miraflores, they are numb at the demise of the heroic caballero Geronimo McDowell.
Well done, lads. Come home safe.
You can follow the count here
Right. It’s done. I cast my vote, and fun it was too, I can tell you.
Here’s how I dispensed my Single Transferable Vote in order of preference:
1. The Mother Teresa Wasn’t a Thieving Old Con-Artist Party.
2. The Christian Liver-Transplant Party.
3. The Wombles.
5. Arthur Daley
6. Some Man
7. A Burst Eyeball
8. The United Haemorrhoid Front
9. The Brazilian Wax Party
10. Jimmy Hoffa
11. John Donne
12. The Completely Dishonest But Not As Dishonest As This Crowd of Crooks Party.
That should do it.
Tomorrow we have the count, and isn’t it great? Just like the Eurovision, the count is the best bit, and you know what? I feel sorry for people in countries with the first-past-the-post system. I mean, they just have one count, some boodie stands up and says Right! You, you and you, fuck off. Now you! Yes you. You’re elected. Now everybody fuck off home.
Not here in Ireland though. Jesus no. Here we have PR. The most fun system of election in the world. Here we go through count after count, distributing surpluses and watching these miserable stiffs as they sweat through the night, not knowing if they’ve been kicked out of office. Maybe, if we’re lucky, the count might go on into the next day which is even better because the fuckers suffer twice as long. Great.
And to think that this government tried to take all this pleasure away from us. To think they tried to bring in an e-voting system that was not only flawed and full of software bugs, but more importantly, did all this redistributing in the time it takes to say crooked politician bastard.
Anyway, for now, fuck ’em. The Sopranos are back.
I’m glad this is nearly over. I’m so glad, I’ve even stopped kicking my dog and making disparaging remarks about
This stupid election has turned me into a different person, and indeed, a person I’m not at all sure I like.
Sarcastic. Aggressive. Loud. Excitable. Overbearing. Pessimistic. Angry.
Oh, wait. It had no effect at all on me. Sorry.
Two PD canvassers had the bad luck to be standing at my door during the week when I pulled up in the old Bockwagon with three bags of cheap Aldi dogfood and a dozen bottles of wine for later. I also got something for the dogs.
What? I screamed reasonably.
Oh, we were hoping to get your Number One vote for our candidate, Tim —
Vote? I roared amicably. Listen here. Answer me this. Wasn’t it an ex-PD minister, Cullen, who called me a stupid fuckwit because I didn’t like the anti-democratic flaws in his badly-designed e-voting machines that are now stored in some disused airship hangar at great cost and will never be sold except to Robert Mugabe or Vladimir Putin for tying around the necks of his political enemies for dropping them into the Volga when he runs out of Polonium 210 or teabags or both?
And wasn’t it your Justice Minister who has 200 policemen in Rossport to beat the local schoolteacher, lifeboat skipper and farmers off the road so that Shell Oil can force their gas pipeline through the community? While the rest of us are crying out for police on our streets to fight real criminals?
And didn’t your government give away, free and at no benefit to me, all our gas reserves to the same Shell Oil company? And wasn’t the minister who did that a convicted crook who did time in jail for being a crook?
And didn’t your government give one thousand two hundred million euros of my money to bail out the child-abusing catholic clergy?
And didn’t the same man get a pile of money from somebody connected with a big company. And the same year, didn’t he change the law to give a tax break to that company alone?
And didn’t your government sell off our national telecommunications company to an asset stripper with the result that there has been almost no investment in economically vital broadband?
And isn’t it the same government who have just handed a huge pile of our money to the same robbers who have a bridge in the middle of a vital motorway, which our money built in the first place, to deliver customers straight to their cash-desk?
OK. I can’t help it. Sorry. I just can’t help saying all this because the time is right and there’s an election coming up and it has to be said.
I know – all right? I know I’m repeating myself. I know I said all this yesterday, but there’s an election coming up, which is a thing we don’t see every day. In fact, if the government had their way, you wouldn’t see one at all.
Let’s get it absolutely clear.
This government gave €1.2 billion to the religious orders because Bertie used to work in the Mater hospital and they have some hold on him. They paid one thousand two hundred million euros of your money to cover the claims against the rapist clergy, instead of making them sell their extensive land banks.
Because the nuns have some hold over Bertie.
This government decided to locate the new national Children’s Hospital in the Mater because Bertie used to work there, and they have some hold on him. They put it in the wrong place for the sick children and their families, but that doesn’t matter when the nuns have you by the bollocks.
Because the nuns have some hold over Bertie.
This government gave National Toll Roads (Roadstone) a gigantic pile of money for the bridge that they used to rob Irish people on the M50 for 20 years because National Toll Roads are buddies of this government.
Because Roadstone have some hold over Bertie.
This government failed to tax second and third homes, because it would inconvenience their builder pals, allowing the property market to inflate to such an extent that our children will never afford a house.
Because the builders have some hold over Bertie.
This government handed a national resource free to Shell Oil because the crook Ray Burke was in charge of the deal. Ray Burke, the convicted fraud, handled the transfer of our national wealth to Shell and nobody is asking what’s going on. There are 200 police in Rossport beating the local teachers, farmers and and lifeboat crew off the roads because Ray Burke, the crook, gave our national resources free to a company that has killed many people across the world. Free! This crook! This fraud!! This gangster in charge of giving away what belongs to you and me!!!
Because Big Oil has some hold over . . .
ah, work it out for yourself. I hope you’re angry.
I see our government has decided to go to the country.
Great. Time to start torturing those political reptiles that call to your door once every four years. After all, even if you didn’t disagree with their policies, it’s very hard to like a heavily-sweating man in a bad suit with a gigantic belly and highly-suspect hair.
I hate these people, but I don’t – obviously – expect you to be so vehement. Obviously. Did I mention that I hate these fuckers? Yes. However, you don’t need to be anywhere near as vehement. Just ask them a few questions when they come to your door, and while I think of it, may I just enter a small caveat? Thanks.
Caveat: This is a completely non-party site. This site hates all political parties equally, naturally, because they are all equally power-grabbing scum-sucking cynical parochial arse-licking morality-free fuckheads. All of them. Including the Greens, the Browns, the Greys, the Socialists, the Socialites, the Luddites, the Lignites, the Meteorites, the Bentonites and of course, the Gelignites. Not to mention Hurricane Johnny and the Jets. The whole dishonest, shit-eating lot of them.
That is Bock’s view on politicians, both established and incipient. A crowd of wankers. Tosspots.
However, as only one party has been in power in this benighted little country for a generation, unfortunately it’s going to look as if I have adopted some kind of party-political stance, when in fact it’s simply that there isn’t anyone else to attack. I mean, the only people who have fucked up in recent memory are the government parties. OK? That makes sense.
Here’s my suggestion. I’ll make a list of hard questions. You can paste them on the inside of your front door and then, instead of listening to the nauseating shite you know they’re going to throw at you, simply say
Hold on a minute. I have a couple of questions.
What do you think? Is this revolutionary or what? People with real questions challenging real stupid politicians.
Now here’s a problem. Because this is Ireland, a small tiny little country on the periphery of just about everything, there are certain things I can’t recommend to you. For example, I can’t suggest you say
Why did you invade Iraq, you murdering fucker?
Of course not. We didn’t invade Iraq.
You could, however, ask something along the lines of
Why did you give Shannon Airport for the use of the US military to invade Iraq, you murdering- by-proxy fucker?
Or you could try something more parochial. For example, you could ask
Why did you give Ã¢â€š¬1,200,000,000 of my money to bail out the religious orders who raped and abused Irish children? For clarity, that would be one thousand two hundred million euros. Could you explain that please? Thanks.
And if you draw a blank on that, maybe you could ask them the following:
How much of the profits from the Corrib gas field go to the Irish citizen?
[Hint 1: The answer is not a penny]
[Hint 2. This is where the Government has sent 200 police to beat the local protesters off the roads while real criminals walk around unhindered everywhere else.]
[Hint 3 This was the deal signed by the convicted fraudster and crook Ray Burke when he was Minister for Energy.]
You might add another supplementary question if you feel sufficently splenetic:
When he gave away this valuable national asset to Shell, how much did Ray Burke make out of the deal?
[Hint: No problem, Ray. Sue me.]
And as this is a Limerick-based site here’s a local one.
Limerick is a much smaller town than Dublin. It only has a population of about 120,000 people in the greater area, compared to the 1.2 million of Dublin. Therefore the most we could expect is a tenth of whatever Dublin gets, per head of population. For instance, as the Luas tram system in Dublin cost Ã¢â€š¬800 million, wouldn’t it seem reasonable that we could have Ã¢â€š¬80 million spent on a tram system for Limerick? A tenth, in other words.
That way, it would be less annoying to see all our tax money spent on a city we don’t live in.
Fine. Here’s the question:
When will the government spend as much per head of population on Limerick’s public transport as they did in Dublin?
[Note: Substitute Cork, Galway, Waterford, Sligo or wherever else you prefer.]
Isn’t it great? And we’re only starting on these bastards.
Oh the Sisters of Mercy . . .