zondag, juni 06, 2004

Bedtime For Bonzo
"Facts are stupid things." --Ronald Reagan

The first man to both star in a movie involving a chimp and actually play a starring role as a chimp who became President of the United States is finally dead at the age of 93, lasting some 20 years beyond his official use as a human being.

Ronald Reagan, the Godfather to America's current conservative idiot fringe on a mission from God to destroy the dying embers of America's goodness, was the oldest man elected to the presidency at age 69 and helped turn America into a 1980s alptraum with his famed "Reaganomics" trickle down theory of economics, which involved the absurdist notion that the wealthier fat corporate pigs become, the more of the overfilled trough they were feeding themselves from, would slosh over on to the ground for the lesser peasants to enjoy. Instead, the typical crowd of fat cats got fatter, there was a burst of economic boom on Wall Street allowing a new bread of leaches to suck the blood from the life of middle class America and in all ended with a spectacular stock market crash when the world realised America was too far in debt to ever pull itself out again. (Hmmm, sound familiar?)

Among Reagan's other "accomplishments" to earn him icon status in the conservative party was to get away with the Iran/Contra scandal by feigning ignorance. For those of you too young to know or too embittered to want to remember or too distracted by the current brand of "fuck the world, I'm for me" conservatism and hysterical war mongering in the form of the War on Terrorism to be able to remember, the Iran/Contra scandal, in bitter, reductionist terms, was about his administration performing a neat little circumvention around something called democracy when it served the purposes of their ideological war in Nicaragua, by selling arms to alleged arch-enemy, Iran, in order to "free" hostages and then used the sale of those weapons and arms to fund their little war in Nicaragua after Congress had wisely cut them off. Worse still, it brought an ideological pissant like Oliver North surfacing to the light of day.

The good old President Reagan, like current conservatives, preached family values to the world in a hypocritical whinge whilst neglecting his own family. He was, after all, considered a grandfatherly figure by most Americans, time and time again escaping the wrath of an angry public opinion for his misadventures with his "awe shucks, I'm just a regular guy" style of method acting.

He oversaw the bullying invasion of the evil empire of Grenada in October, 1983, coincidentally coming just days after the humiliation and shock of the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, yet another imperialistic invasion misadventure conducted under the auspices of bringing American-style "peace and democracy" to a country that wasn't interested in it.

On the lighter side, his fantastically expansive Star Wars speech is thought by many to have been the beginning of the end of the Soviet Empire and after a disco bombing in Berlin, Reagan authorised the 1986 bombing of Libya whose success was alleged have led to the quieting of renowned terrorist Muammar Gadafi. Of course, Gadafi was so terrorised, it took him almost two years to organise the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, and then another 16 years and two invasions of Iraq later, to finally perform a questionable about face to learn to love the West. Another Reagan foreign policy success.

Ah, with this news of Ronald Reagan's death, so many memories come to the surface like bile rising from the back of the throat. Thanks for the memories, Ronny baby, as the old song I Shot Reagan by Suicidal Tendancies goes, you're forgiven in hell.

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