Scandals that dont matter
A couple of things in the news have caught my eye recently. The first is the Secret Service operatives liaison with prostitutes in Columbia. The second is performer Ted Nugent’s recent incendiary comments about Obama. What i find important about these two stories is 1) They are getting quite a bit of media attention and 2) they dont actually matter.
The Colombian prostitute scandal is, in my mind, a puff piece (or a huge collection of puff pieces) because prostitution is a structural part of US military operations, both internationally and within the US. Highly paid military personal in regions where they do not speak the language or dont have any other connection to the local culture will unsurprisingly turn to local sex-for-hire services. That these secret service and military staff got caught makes it news, but does not make it in anyway unusual or surprising. And in this case so far, it appears that no one has been hurt, nor any secrets lost.
Ted Nugent said he thought Obama was “vile” and “evil” and “anti-American”. And went on to say he would be “dead or in jail’ a year hence if Obama is reelected” This country has both guarantees for free speech and punishes people who threaten the life of the president. What i found interesting was the Mitt Romney had actively courted Nugent, who is a gun extremist and revered in some far right circles. Romney was only willing to criticize Nugent that his remarks were not civil, Romney certainly has the necessary slippery talking skills needed to be president. The more i pay attention to Romney, the more dangerous he seems to be, the worst type of political opportunist. And the current polls are showing Obama and Romney in a dead heat.
But at the end of the day, neither of these scandals make any difference. The secret service will have to be more secretive about it’s hiring of prostitutes – this should not be that hard for them, they are in the secrecy business. Ted Nugent will say more silly things and he will not be considered a real threat against the president.
At the same time, there are real scandals which are not being covered. There are myriad of these, but one of my personal favorites is Obama’s use of predator drones. By one estimate the US has killed over 2200 Pakistani civilians with predator drones. For me this would qualify Obama as evil and vile. And since these are clearly illegal, someone might even stretch it to anti-American (not me, this is very much in keeping with the American empire plan). And Romney is not complaining about these, because his plan is to continue these policies and their under discussed state crime. Part of this scandal is the reason these lives dont matter to Americans is that these are poor, non-white, non-Christian people. Were we gunning down Scandinavians, there would be significant media and public outcry.
I remember the upset in the US when an 11 year old girl was killed in the Rome airport by Palestinian militia in 1985. There was lots of media and citizen outrage about this. US drones assassinating thousands more innocents than these few “important” victims are clearly evil, vile and not at all scandalous.