Monday, September 27, 2010

Paul Sheehan, and waiter, bring me some magic water, so I can be completely contradictory with utter clarity ...

(Above: clear and positive proof that Obama has divided the nation between grunge and punk).

Does this sound familiar?

America needed a pragmatist and it got an ideologue. Only an ideologue would divide the nation along a racial fault-line to save his own political skin.

Remind you of anyone? Possibly Glenn Beck?

Obama has "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture." After being reminded that Obama has numerous white staffers, Beck contradicted himself, stating, "I'm not saying that he doesn't like white people. I'm saying he has a problem," before going on to state, "this guy is, I believe, a racist." (here).

Beck later went on to explain that Obama was inspired by liberation theology. Ideology, theology, Chicago street pragmatism. Any slur will do when you want to whip up a storm ...

Perhaps the opening quote reminds you of the wacky theories of Christine O'Donnell? As well as masturbation and sex and chastity and the evil Obama administration, she has a thing about evolution:

O’DONNELL: You know what, evolution is a myth. And even Darwin himself –

MAHER: Evolution is a myth?!? Have you ever looked at a monkey!

O’DONNELL: Well then, why they — why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?

Actually I threw that one in just because I love it so much. It's why we love the Tea Partiers with a vast undying love here at the pond. They just keep on giving, and always when you think they've dipped down deep into the barrel of loonacy, they keep on giving more ...

And actually the first quote is from Captain Grumpy, aka our very own antipodean Paul Sheehan, who is most upset with Obama, apparently because Obama won't be coming to Australia before he loses the next presidential election campaign ...

That'll teach him, that'll learn him. Refuse to visit us, and he'll turn into a loser. Yippee, and then we can go dancing with tea partiers ...

The funniest thing in Sheehan's extended rant in Lives lost currying US favour is the way he purports that he once had faith in the Obama administration ...

The second funniest thing, if it wasn't such a mix of tragedy and farce, is that he's discovered that he's against the war in Afghanistan. Suddenly he's a pacifist and an isolationist and perhaps is even thinking of turning vegetarian.

After a solemn listing of Australians killed in the war, he gets down and dirty:

More than 3000 Australian soldiers and airmen have been killed or wounded in joint operations with the United States in Vietnam, Iraq, Iraq again, and now Afghanistan. There were many reasons for Australia deploying forces to these wars but the most important was to maintain the strategic alliance with the US, regarded as the ultimate safeguard of Australian security.

The cost of the alliance needs to be reviewed. The maintenance of the ''special relationship'' has become more like an obsessive-compulsive disorder in Canberra. This is the perfect week to step back, following the news from Washington on Friday that President Barack Obama has dropped plans to visit Australia.

Twice in the past year, a visit to Australia and Indonesia was proposed, then cancelled because of domestic political pressures. Instead, he is now going to Indonesia and India.

Yes, the bloody Kenyan Islamic is going off to Indonesia and Hindu India, and not spending a moment here with Australians having a beer and a barbie.

Talk about being taken for granted. Talk about the wall flower sitting in the chair waiting for a dance, and the smooth talking Islamic heading off to do a waltz with Indonesia instead.

Jeez, do we feel jilted, embittered, bilious and grumpy, or what:

I don't blame Obama for dropping Australia. Why on earth would he want to come here? We are not Muslims. We are not a billion people. We don't cause problems. We don't blow up Americans. Australia is the only country in the world that has sent its soldiers into battle beside American forces in every major war the US has fought over the past 100 years. The only one. Australia is such an iron-clad, implacably reliable ally that we can be taken for granted.

Yep, it's outrageous, it's demeaning, it's shocking. Taken for bloody granted, and spurned like a librarian casting hungry eyes on Paul Newman. Not that we were counting on it or hanging on it. Wallflowers are ever so humble and modest, and choose only to seethe on the inside, unless by grace of god, a column is granted to them ...

Waiter, bring me some magic miracle water, so I can recover my energy, health and good humour.

No doubt veteran readers of Sheehan will recall all his indignant columns railing against John Howard for involving Australia in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and deploring Howard's wretched waltz with the Americans for the entire decade of Howard's rule.

Oops, what's that? You went and googled?

And apart from endless rants and tirades about how the war in Afghanistan was just and necessary to save the women of Afghanistan you found Sheehan scribbling furiously to explain back in September 2003 Why we're all the way with the USA:

Why are Australians again being killed? We are an island continent in the South Pacific far removed from the world's major trouble spots. Australia has no traditional enemies, is a wealthy democracy with no history of political instability, and is best known for its tourism, sport and natural beauty. Put another shrimp on the barbie.

Why would a nation so far from harm be so willing to fight? Two basic reasons. Australia is an altruistic nation. It stands for something. With allies, it is willing to fight expansive tyrannies. As for the other reason, when Howard committed Australia to the American cause in Iraq, he did so for the same reason five of his predecessors went to war: the need to be aligned with a superpower that can stop an invasion from Asia, and did stop an invasion from Asia. (It is not improbable that in the future Australia will seek such an alliance with China on the basis of this ingrained diplomatic doctrine.)

Yes, yes, so sensible John. Do go on special cheerleader first class Paul Sheehan.

What's that you say? Oh yes here's Paul Sheehan in 2010 as we discover the new theme is bugger off Afghani women, if we're not worth a presidential visit, then you're certainly not worth saving :

If Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants to be taken seriously in Washington, she should reorder our symbols and priorities. When it is time for her first visit to major trading partners she should go to Beijing and Tokyo. Leave Washington off the list.

No, no, noooh. Say it ain't so. We need to do a deal with China to stop an invasion by an Asian power. What's that? The Chinese are the definitive Asian power? Perhaps we need an alliance with China to stop the Chinese ...

Quick, I'm feeling faint, put me in a time machine and whisk me back to sanity, back to when we knew where we stood:

The Prime Minister has a very specific threat in mind when he makes more deposits in the American bank of military goodwill. He is thinking about Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, one of the world's most precarious democracies, and one of the most violent. Political reality, namely the overriding need to keep the peace with the Indonesians, dictated that Howard cannot say what the electorate tacitly understands, which is that we live next to a nation with 200 million Muslims, with a history of political violence, a tradition of political corruption, an increasing level of Islamic militancy, a place where scores of Australians and hundreds of Christians have been murdered, a nation that could fall apart, or under the control of Islamic fundamentalism, or both.

In short, we need a great and muscular ally if the satay hits the fan.

And now that bloody Obama has trooped off to Indonesia - how hard would it have been to drop by for an hour or two and shake Paul Sheehan's hand - and now the bloody satay or perhaps the great big bloody vegetarian gado gado has hit the bloody big fan.

Oh if only we were way back in the glory days when John Howard was the man of steel:

On foreign policy, governments make judgements, make choices and take calculated risks. People want leaders to lead. The public understands what Howard is doing. It also supports him on border security issues. He owns this territory.

Flash forward to Sheehan scribbling in the present:

... it is time to stop wasting Australian lives on oiling the wheels of American favour. There has never been a compelling case for Australia to engage in war after war in the Middle East, an area far from our sphere of influence or major trading partners. The image of Australia as an American surrogate no longer serves our national interests.

Even worse, we can be treated as a lapdog with impunity.

There's never been a compelling case?

You mean Sheehan spent years writing gibberish of the most rah rah kind, in support of John Howard and his adventurism, and never produced a compelling case? You mean all those faithful years as a devoted lickspittle lapdog were wasted?

Steady there Dobbin, we wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea:

These points are made not from any sense of anti-Americanism. My personal commitment to America remains extremely strong, having lived, worked and studied there for many years. I still maintain deep connections to the country. Anti-Americanism, per se, is a ridiculous cliche.

Yes, so instead Sheehan spends the rest of his column indulging in bite sized samples of tea party talking points about the Obama administration.

Which is where we came in ... and if you want to spend time reading about poor Arizona and the housing market and banking regulations and health care, and wonder where Sheehan was and what he was scribbling during the Bush years, feel free to read and google for contradictory nonsense as much as you like ... (we especially liked his outraged review of Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11).

As for doing a thorough job, how many years have you got?

Why not spend more time with Christine O'Donnell? At least she was interested in witchcraft ...

The bottom line? That bloody uppity black refusing to drop in on us, and we've been ever so slavishly loyal. No wonder we're disillusioned ...

The third funniest thing? As I was googling away, I found Sheehan being quoted with pleasure in a Stormfront forum. The Race War of Black Against White, it was headed, and it was scribbled in 1995, and when I followed it up, I found it was all over the place in rabid right wing talk fests and forums. It's even attracted its own alternative commentary, as in Paul Sheehan's Dirty War.

Why do I mention this? Because for Sheehan to accuse Obama of dividing the country along the fault line of race is such a monstrosity, given his own record, that it makes him sound madder and loonier than Glenn Beck. And that takes some doing ...

As for the other contradictions, let me take the easy way out, and quote a Sheehan reader, one Redsaunas, a tad perplexed by Sheehan's change of heart, and his move into the isolationist camp:

Does this article mean we are no longer simply far-left anti-American fifth columnists working hand in glove with Al-Qaeda to undermine western civilisation and establish a world-wide Caliphate?

Or maybe it means that Paul Sheehan is now all of the above.

Shame Miranda Devine is no longer available on these pages to offer guidance on this thorny conundrum.

Sadly, to resolve this conundrum, you'd need to be an expert in string theory or alternate universes. And Mirand the Devine is resting before being launched on the world via the House of Murdoch so there's no hope there.

Can we just let the matter rest with this perplexing double barrelled question?

Why aren't monkeys evolving into humans right before our eyes, and by what magic has Paul Sheehan evolved - transformed himself - into a caring sharing vegetarian pacifist staunchly opposed to the American alliance?

If you can riddle that riddle, there's a guest spot in a Batman magazine for you, as the wiliest riddling riddler around ...

And if you answer that it's because Obama decided to fly past Sydney on the way to Jakarta, are we talking childish and petulant, or what?

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