adolescent angst, affordable child care, amputees, Ashley Judd, Bangladesh, big energy, big oil, business leaders, careers, child care, civic engagement, Condoleezza Rice, dignity, divorce, economic colonialism, engagement, family, feminism, food security, foreclosure, free time, freedoms, friends, gender issues, globalism, goodwill ambassador, Hillary Clinton, homeless veterans, homelessness, housing security, human rights, indebtedness, injustice, Iraq, Iraqis, jobs, liberties, Libya, Libyans, life, love, Nasty Woman, natural rights, neo-colonialism, neo-liberalism, Nina Donovan, opportunities, pink pussy hats, political leaders, Princeton University, prostheses, PTSD, public morals, pussy grabbing, refugee camps, refugees, significance, Smedley Butler, social stresses, starving children, Syria, Syrian diaspora, underemployment, unemployment, United Nations Population Fund, University of Kentucky, veteran amputees, veterans, Veterans Administration, war, War is a Racket, wealth, Women's March
Perhaps it needs to be pointed out to Ashley Judd and Nina Donovan that being a “Nasty Woman” is not aspirational. I’ve seen nasty women at all levels of government and business, I’ve worked with them, and seen children suffer at the hands of some. And because of this, I cannot remain silent about Nina’s poem, or turn a blind eye to Ashley’s recitation of it during the Women’s March in DC.
Nasty Woman was written and recited in an alleged tone of feminine indignation. But this wasn’t indignation; in fact, nowhere near it. Nasty Woman has all the markings of adolescent angst, of blind rage using a sawed-off shotgun, with shot flying everywhere, hitting everyone and everything and being fired from the hip, no less, with little attempt to focus on a target.
Ashley and Nina, you should be embarrassed.
You should be embarrassed by considering these two questions: First, where were you – and all your fellow protesters – when Bush W was banging the drums of war for Iraq? Next, what poems did you write or recite when the Obama Administration was practicing its insidious nation building, quietly inserting itself into Libya and Syria? These actions sent thousands to their deaths and overturned the lives of millions more due, in part, to nasty women.
So where were all those pink pussy hats raising their voices when they were needed most?
Ashley and Nina adulated some historical and contemporary women in Nasty Woman. But this served up a huge, steaming pile of audacity when they named Condoleezza Rice and – the poem’s namesake after Trump called her a “nasty woman” – Hillary Clinton as icons of female leadership. 
Rice was a part of W’s team that pushed the war in Iraq; the fact that an oil tanker has Rice’s name on it draws a bold, fat underline under her – and the entirety of W administration’s – designs.
Clinton’s tenure at the State Department played no small role in the insidious and covert designs of US economic colonialism, rendering Libya stateless and Syria almost so.
These two get a pass simply because they don’t have junk dangling between their legs?
With the help of Rice and Clinton, the US sent tens of thousands of American – and NATO allies’ – soldiers overseas. Thousands of young American and NATO men and women lost arms, legs, their minds, and yes, their lives, for the global machinations of Rice and Clinton. Military families suffered financial hardships; some mothers and fathers never returned to their children. Others are mentally incapable of adapting to their former domestic roles as sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, mothers or fathers; a new generation of children suffers the consequences.
The lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi, Syrian and Libyan men, children and yes, women were lost, simply because they lived in nations whose leaders did not want to play along with the globalist designs of Rice, Clinton and their administrations. Millions of lives were displaced, struggling to survive in a Europe that does not want them. An untold number of Mideast communities have been wrecked, cultures in ruins, families destroyed, lives lost in the watery depths of the Mediterranean.
U.S. Marine General Smedley Butler was right: War is a Racket. Yet, Ashley and Nina are two intelligent women who – perhaps willfully – ignored history, but this didn’t prevent them from taking a world stage idolizing warmongers, war in support of globalism’s economic empire.
Rice and Clinton were partially responsible for all this suffering. Yet Ashley and Nina held them up as icons while venting their anger over someone talking about “grabbing pussies,” as if the affront was the moral equivalent to the pain of millions who suffered at the hands of Rice and Clinton and their ilk.
Ashley and Nina, spare us the sight of working out your adolescent angst in public. There are far too many American political and business leaders already doing the same. I would have thought the two of you could do better.
I do not know Nina’s life, but at the age of 19, I will give her a pass. Perhaps life hasn’t delivered her any tender mercies to gain perspective.
But you, Ashley, you have lived a life that has held any number of mercies.
First, hundreds of thousands envy the time your wealth has provided, the luxury to attend UK football and basketball games; time to pursue a goodwill ambassadorship for the United Nations Population Fund; the time to pursue a mid-career master’s degree from Princeton.
Time, the most precious commodity in life: It is time outside our jobs of meaningless anonymity that affords us the opportunity to feel as if we matter, to gain respect for our undertakings. Most never realize this opportunity, because banal jobs consume their time… and their lives.
Next, millions more envy you because you have had the opportunity to pursue a career – not a job – into which you can pour your passions in life, or on screen. You have a cinematic and personal platform from which to speak your mind on any number of issues, whether you utilize that platform responsibly or not.
Far too many Americans, on the other hand, quietly suffer from the obscurity and condescending management of a cubicle job, or a factory line, or a checkout lane, just to pay the bills… sometimes working two or three jobs to do so.
Finally, billions more envy you because you enjoy housing, food and clothing security, the likes of which most of us cannot imagine how we would manage if so endowed overnight.
Perhaps it is true these points are not what count. What truly counts is our life, our loves, the life and love of our friends and family, our natural and human rights, our liberties, and our freedoms. Such attributes cannot be obtained by wealth alone.
But we can only discuss such higher orders of existence if we have secure housing over our heads, if we go to bed with full stomachs, if we can live out our lives in neighborhoods that don’t induce abject fear, or knowing our loved ones won’t be whisked off to a war where the implicit goal is to enrich multinational corporations.
That simple existence is the dream of billions.
Ashley and Nina hold up the Nasty Woman as if it’s a badge of honor, as if it is okay to marshal huge, angry protests over someone discussing pussy grabbing, and taking it to the streets in major cities around the world because of it.
But apparently they don’t see the value of protesting for that starving child in Bangladesh… or in Philadelphia, for that matter.
They don’t appreciate the need to champion the cause of that double-amputee veteran struggling to get her prostheses funded by the U.S. Veterans Administration.
Or channel the daily concerns of that single mother who cannot attend a protest because she has three children and barely affords expensive child care, much less a trip to DC.
Or hold up a mirror reflecting the tragedy of the Syrian families who were tossed out of a refugee camp in southern France, just before the onset of winter.
I have seen the degradation that women have suffered; I know it all too well. At times, this degradation is not wrought only by men, but by other women.
Yet, I have also seen the degradation of children in the inner city, whose father is long gone and whose mother sends the welfare check to her boyfriend in prison.
I have seen the homeless veteran, homeless not because he refuses to work, but because his mental life is too shattered to return to any semblance of normalcy and no one wants to spend the time or money repairing it.
I have seen the quiet desperation that sets into the home where parents have overstretched their budgets – in a vain attempt to Jones the neighbors – then lost their home to foreclosure, divorced over the financial tatters, and ripped apart the lives of their children, children who didn’t sign up for such a split existence.
Yes, take to the streets. Vent your anger. Communicate the injustices. But if you, Ashley and Nina and all of your co-protesters, want the Women’s Marches to be taken seriously, then for God’s sake march for something far more substantive than locker-room banter.
Rice and Clinton and others have forced too many across this globe to become survivalists, while a certain segment of Americans seem to have become misdirected whiners.
Ashley and Nina, channel your energies on behalf of those survivalists. Only then will we hold you up to future generations as female leaders worthy to emulate.
 It is extremely difficult to pinpoint any single actor with the Bush W or Obama administrations for the outcomes in the country of XYZ. This is to be expected, as any massive, centralized monolithic institution – government or corporation – can host a large number of guilty actors, yet no actor can be held responsible in a court of law. However, in terms of the U.S. government, any secretary of state will become deeply immersed in foreign relations and outcomes with a given country targeted by the United States as in need of “democratization.”
“Democratization” has become neoliberal code for the “liberalization” of a country’s economy. This liberalization process can include, but is not limited to, the increase of governmental debt in global financial markets (bonds), the increase of indigenous business debt, the increase of indigenous consumer debt, the opening of a country’s stock market to speculation activity, the privatization of governmental functions (particularly utilities, but also banks, save for a central bank), access to a country’s labor markets, access to a country’s domestic retail markets with foreign goods, and so forth.
The sole purpose of this liberalization process is to provide global investors with the access to a new nation for the rapid expansion of profits, particularly with countries that are classified as having developing or emerging economies. Developed economies are considered “saturated,” in that incremental growth can largely be realized only by the small gains in population growth, with exceptions.
There are other considerations as well, including the natural resources held within the border of a country, or its geopolitical usefulness gained merely by its location in the world.
The U.S. involvement in Libya was covered by the western press early on, and American media also ran a story on Hillary Clinton’s involvement in Libya.
In regards to Syria, Clinton used verbal chicanery to hold out the possibility of Assad acting as a reformer in early March of 2011. Yet by April of that same year, the voices against keeping Assad in power started to gain momentum, with Clinton herself stating Assad had lost legitimacy by July, only four months later. What changed?
For some years, in the early 21st century, International Monetary Fund representatives had been visiting Syria, and meeting with Assad government representatives on a number of economic issues during which the IMF pressed for “liberalization.” By reading the IMF reports from 2005 – 2009, one can gain a sense that the Syrian government was willing to enact some changes being pushed by the IMF, yet on others it was dragging out the “reform” process, a clear sign there were either a) internal disagreements within Assad’s government or b) no willingness at all to enact the IMF-backed reforms, thus the Syrian-government representatives were merely humoring the IMF.
After the Syrian conflict broke out in 2011, the IMF cast a bleak outlook on the Syrian economy five years later, despite having no contact with the Syrian government after 2009. This didn’t prevent the IMF from starting to enumerate the steps necessary for Syria’s economic “revitalization.” The implicit addendum to all these post-conflict statements was “…after Assad’s removal.”
In an October 12, 2012 press briefing in Tokyo, Japan, the IMF’s Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department, Masood Ahmed , remarked, “It has its economic impact within Syria, and we in the IMF have not been able to get direct information about Syria for at least a year.” In fact, it had been closer to two years as the IMF reports stopped after 2009. Again, what changed?
The Arab Spring. And Assad recognized that after the initial, organic uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the U.S. government (along with other countries such as Germany) was taking advantage of the chaos to push a neoliberal agenda to other countries such as Libya and Syria.
On March 30, 2011, Bashar al-Assad addressed the Syrian Parliament. In it, Assad framed, in not-so-veiled language and analogies, his opinion of the IMF’s efforts at liberalizing the Syrian economy for the gain of international investors:
They used to propose ideas which were contrary to our interests….
…and (Syria should follow the Palestinian example and) shift from a process of making concessions to a process of holding to rights.
And I am sure you all know that Syria is facing a great conspiracy whose tentacles extend to some nearby countries and far-away countries, with some inside the country.
The tools are the same: the slogans and talking about freedom. Consequently, if there are calls for reform – and I believe we all call for reform – we get along with them without knowing what is really happening. That is why they mixed up, in a very smart manner, three elements….
Basically, Assad was telling the IMF – and all the globalists who stand behind it – to piss off. He had recognized the classic pincers move the U.S. was undertaking to get him to concede to IMF demands for reforms. The carrot was the promise of international investor money flowing into Syria. The stick was the fomenting of a resistance movement, a threat to Assad should he decide to back away from IMF-demanded reforms.
The resistance started in a less-than-significant backwater in Syria known as Dara’a, a town of 75,000 near the Syrian-Jordan border. This location is critical, as CIA operatives were working in Jordan with Assad opposition to instigate uprisings against the Syrian government. Dara’a was a border town in which the operatives could get in and out of Syria, quickly.
When Assad saw the U.S. machinations, covert operations trying to come through his back door, he addressed the Syrian parliament and said in effect, enough already.
No IMF reforms? Syria was going to war.
In 2015, when Russia sent its military into Syria, any faint hope of Assad keeping his country independent vanished. Assuming Russia’s intervention was successful in keeping the Assad government intact, Assad was now beholden to another economic colonial power… from the east.
The analogy here is the fool who willingly goes deep into debt buying a nice home, car, and clothes, then struggles to stay afloat financially. Looking for a better-paying job, he finds one with a very nice income. He doesn’t take pride himself for his good luck (there is no such thing in his mind), but his ego believes he held an amazing resume and was very skilled at getting through the interview process. What he doesn’t know is that his financial quagmire was uncovered by his future employer, making him an ideal employee, beholden to an employer. Worse, this fool discovers, too late, the job he accepted turns out to be the absolute worst nightmare an employee could ever face,
Tin-pot despots are a dime a dozen; it’s just a matter of which economic imperialist will eventually take control of his country.
Hillary Clinton’s dream of adding Syria to the list of western-friendly “globalized,” “neoliberalized” countries is fading. And in its wake has been a 6+ year internal conflict, 13.5 million refugees, some 400,000 dead, and a wrecked country. There is also up to 25,000 dead in the Libyan conflict, along with up to 1 million Libyan refugees still in Tunisia.
In 2015, Colin Powell e-mailed his business partner Jeffrey Leeds on Hillary Clinton’s e-mail fiasco, and ended with a statement that sums up Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state: “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”
Condoleezza Rice’s role in the invasion of Iraq bears little difference in effects. Her waffling on the question of weapons of mass destruction can be compared here. Iraq had no connection with al Qaeda until after fall of Saddam Hussein. Rice’s connection to torture – “enhanced interrogation” – is now known.
An estimated half million Iraqis are dead as a result of the 2003 U.S. invasion and subsequent civil unrest, almost 4,500 U.S. troops lost their lives in that conflict, and another 31,000+ physically wounded. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are 2.7 million in number, and those suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, the mentally wounded, are estimated to be around 20 percent, perhaps higher.
Bottom line: Reviewing just the surface of the misery these two women – along with their male counterparts in two administrations – have wrought globally can be overwhelming. To have listed Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton as icons of feminism was nothing short of despicable.
Our horizons grow darker. We cannot allow our emotions to be caught up in the moment, only to be easily dismissed at a later time. There is serious work to be done. We shouldn’t be shooting ourselves in the foot.