Monday, September 24, 2007

Bush, Bullshit, Train Wrecks and a Voice Crying in the Wilderness

We know, as does every lucid observer, that the war is lost. By what standards do I make this judgment? By putting the facts of the current situation up against any one of the numerous permutations of the specific goals of the war articulated by Bush and the neo-cons since the war began. Almost as quickly as Bush redefines the war and our goals in fighting it, events force him to recast the whole issue in ways that ignore the immediately preceding failures and which commit us to "stay the course" for an indeterminate future. Okay, you know all that as well as I do.

We know now---and some of us have known since before the invasion---that without a dictator or military rule, Iraq will devolve into an even more chaotic mess when we leave. That die was cast the instant we took out Sadaam. The only reason things are marginally quieter now than a year ago---and it has little to do with The Surge---is that we have sold out to the Sunni in Anbar Province and equipped them to take on what Bush and his minions call Al Qaeda in Iraq. Clever wording, that. "Al Qaeda," the term, smacks of Osama, foreigners and all that alien threat that so galvanizes American opposition. In fact, "Al Qaeda in Iraq" is made up to a significant degree of disaffected Iraqis---mostly Sunni---who are in a power struggle with other Sunni as well as the Shia and the Shia controlled central government. (Of course there are foreigners in the organization and they are more visible in this organization than most others, but all wars and all factions have almost always used mercenaries or have had foreigners involved and who the hell are WE but outside agitators??. )

What we are doing on this front is fucked in at least two extremely important aspects. First, we are gaining a measure of "peace" by taking sides in a civil war or at least in a power struggle between two factions. That is a battle that even most neo-cons admit must won by finding a political rather than a military solution. We are defying our own understanding of the core problem in Iraq when we engage the Civil War. Secondly, by handling Anbar and parts of Baghdad in this way, that is by allying ourselves with the most powerful Sunni faction and joining with them to put down factions we deem even less desirable, we are not only usurping the duties of the central government----you know, the one we are absolutely committed to see become the successful, stable government of all of Iraq and all Iraqis---we are virtually ensuring its collapse. In supporting Malachi, we are making a stand with the central government as it tries to gain the power and wherewithal to put down the insurrection, stop the Civil War, put down the foreigners who have joined the fight. Malachi is supposed to bring the army up to speed, establish order throughout Iraq and rebuild the infrastructure. That's at home. It also has to defend itself against the various other power mullahs or sheiks in the region. However, our "winning" strategy in Anbar and parts of the capital is based on the decentralizing tactic of joining the fight along regional, tribal and sectarian lines. In other words---and rather frightening words at that---we are at war with ourselves in terms of the strategies being followed and tactics being employed.

We also know now that barring a radical shift of the "moderates" in the GOP, the Democrats will not be able to muster the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and to forestall a bill killing filibuster. That fact means Bush can probably prevent an end of the war or any significant troop reductions while he is in office.

We also know that a vast majority of the public want an end to the war and want the troops to come home sooner rather than later. Even Bush would have to find a way out before too much longer. Public pressure will win in the end and the government will be forced to withdraw.

We also know that it is most likely that the Democrats will win the WH and maintain if not expand their majorities in both houses of Congress. There are many reasons for this prediction but the biggest factor is the war.

So what bodes from these related truth? Bush will be able to "stay the course" for the brief remainder of his tenure in office. Because of the public's eroding support of the war, the Democrats will likely win the WH. Because of public opposition to the war and because they will have promised to do so, the Democratic controlled government will radically reduce or redefine our role in Iraq. Chaos will ensue. Oil prices will go up. We will have a recession and the Middle East will grow increasingly destabilized and SOME FUCKING WAY OR ANOTHER, THE REPUBLICANS WILL SUCCESSFULLY PUT THE BLAME ON THE "WEAK ON DEFENSE" DEMOCRATS AND THE WEAK ON IQ AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL FALL FOR IT.

This disaffection with Democratic foreign policy will probably coincide with the public's outrage over the fact that if the Democrats make any effort to pay our debt, pay for the war or balance the budget which was a Bush monster, they will be forced to raise taxes or cut programs. Nevermind that they will be trying to solve problems Bush created and end a war he started, all the blame will fall on them and Bush will be getting paid millions for speaking at banquets, smirking and saying "I told you so" about those peace-nik and tax-loving Democrats. The Democrats are always---and have almost always been--described as such devious, clever to a fault, manipulative, brainwashing politicos; yet, they are apparently completely inept----that word is not strong enough--- when it comes to explaining anything at all about the machinations of the opposition. For fuck's sake, they lost an argument over who loved his country more, a war hero with two purple hearts and numerous other combat medals or draft dodging, AWOL member of the Air Reserves! They will lose the debate over "who lost Iraq?" (And not even be clever enough to point out the arrogance indicated in the formulation of that question.)

We know that this scenario or one similar as hell will unfold and we can already hear the outrageous rhetoric from the Right. You can hear it, can you not? SO, why the fuck is there NOTHING we can do to stop it? Why can we not demonstrate this to the public in so convincing a way as to wake them up? Why can we not stop the outrageous events about to be inflicted on our body politic?

In my mind's eye, I am aboard a runaway train and the nearing depot is filled with munitions manufactured in the community ready to be shipped to a buyer who has agreed to a deal giving them a huge profit.. The people at the station have the power to stop the train, to remove the munitions and to avoid any explosion at all. They are close enough to hear me screaming at them telling them where the train's cut-off switch is but the depot master owns the heavily insured property as well as a secret munitions plant that did not get the profitable deal. He plans to use the insurance money to expand his munitions factory and to bribe the Mayor into offering him the deal for the munitions sale. (He will also later hire the Mayor as a consultant and name him to the Board of Directors and see to it that the Mayor shares in the future profits of the company.) . He talks over my screams and convinces the people at the depot that I am a lunatic and that my only goal is to disrupt commerce and destroy the community. I am, he shrewdly proclaims, a LIBERAL.

I yell till I am hoarse trying to explain that I am a citizen of their community---that I love it and want only to keep it from being destroyed. I hold up the insurance papers, the letters offering to bribe the Mayor, the minutes to the secret talks with the munitions buyer, the documents showing his plans to raze several housing developments for the elderly in order to expand his plant and I play a tape of him talking and laughing with his buddies in town about what fools the people are and how mind-boggling gullible they are. The people see all that I hold out to them. The people see the explosives stacked all around them. They can see the locomotive coming at then at an outrageous speed---obviously out of control. They have absolutely no idea how the explosion can be avoided and they know it will be a major disaster . But...... they really sort of like the Depot Master---even though he has been in trouble many times, has been implicated in numerous shady deals, some of which seriously harmed various members of the community and he has been caught numerous times lying to the Chamber of Commerce about his secretive business ventures---still, he is something of a "Hail fellow, well met." And even though they know he is a scoundrel, they really adore his mousy little wife--not because she has ever accomplished anything of worth but because in her blank, insipid stare, they see themselves .

Much more important, the last time he got caught selling bogus insurance to residents of the local nursing home's oncology unit, he was arrested and sentenced to hard time. Out on bail and awaiting transfer to the Big House, he recently reported that not long after the trial he found himself in the gutter one night, drunk or coked up or something but through the vomit and spittle that clogged his long eyelashes and gave a sheen to his blazer, he saw a giant Jesus riding across the sky in a Chariot ---or maybe a Persian carpet---and as Jesus passed overhead, He told the Depot Master that from then on He would be telling him what to do in any and every situation and that no matter how much hard evidence was found indicating that he was on the wrong path, he was to publicly claim that Satan had planted the "evidence" and distorted the "facts" as a test of the people's faith and that they were to ignore the Satan inspired "facts" no matter how compelling they were. To question the Depot Master, then, was to question Sweet Jesus, so beloved of this bomb-making community. Sure they made and profited from weapons of mass destruction that were designed to kill all men, women and children within a mile of impact, but they fucking loved Jesus and they'd be damned if they were going to turn on a man who said Jesus was his savior. Besides, it was so much less taxing not to walk over to the off switch.



Post a Comment

<< Home