Friday, January 12, 2007

How shrewd

President Pantload has announced that more American should be killed in order to stave off any embarrassment he may have to experience by admitting complete failure. Such are the consequences when war is waged not in response to a genuine threat to our shores, but as a move in a geopolitical game.

It’s remarkable, too, how members of both parties admit openly to being motivated by a fear of being blamed for “losing.” The essentially infantile nature of our politics has never been more obvious: the fear of blame overriding even the dire and deadly realities on the ground. Everywhere one looks in Washington, and in the corrupt media covering it, we see a frightening ability to look at human lives as if they were dispensable objects. This is moral degradation of the first order.

We are told that to “lose” this battle (on the front of the generalissimo’s global war of terror) would be disastrous. The consequences we are being warned of have already happened. The neocons turned Iraq into a terrorist breeding ground. They have destabilized the Middle East to the point of near breakdown. Yet they warn us that these things will happen if we pull out.

Senator Durbin presented the official Democratic response to the Boosh speech, and it should have dismayed anyone with a conscience. After saying that Americans have paid a heavy price—which is true—he went on to say: “,,,we have given the Iraqis so much. We have deposed their dictator. We dug him out of a hole in the ground and forced him to face the courts of his own people. We've given the Iraqi people a chance to draft their own constitution, hold their own free elections and establish their own government. We Americans, and a few allies, have protected Iraq when no one else would.”

What mendacity. What arrogance. Have the Iraqis not paid a heavy price, heavier than our own? Have they not lost hundreds of thousands of people to death, injury, or exile? Have they not seen their country collapse into chaos? The Iraqis have told us themselves that life was better under Saddam. But Durbin acts as if the U.S. bears no responsibility for the tragic consequences of its invasion.

I happened to be watching MSNBC, and the fathead Chris Matthews called Durbin’s speech shrewd. “He doesn’t come off as antiwar, as some sort of flower child” (I quote from memory). The other pundits seem to agree. Perhaps willful blindness and lying is shrewd. Perhaps it’s the only way for Democrats to even be heard in the media. But if true, it’s a sad and shameful truth. Durbin said what he said because you can’t say that America did something wrong. You can’t even admit mistakes without risk to your political life. Think about that. Human beings do wrong things on a regular basis, and part of being sane and civilized is being able to admit that, and apologize. But America, we are told, can do no wrong. The patriotic view of America, apparently, is that the nation is a huge sociopath, because that’s exactly what a person who never admits wrong would be.

So instead of facing the fact that this war was wrong to begin with, Durbin paints it as a noble endeavor that has run its course. Truth is sacrificed to the piggish vanity and ignorant self-regard of unthinking nationalism. But the price of shrewdness is very high. If we can never honestly examine the war-making and mongering of our elites, if we can never question militarism and triumphalism, then our national dialogue will always be stillborn. These idiots like Chris Matthews, who even while they jump on the anti-Bush bandwagon, claim that everyone thought the war would succeed, closed their ears to the demonstrations of millions of protesters prior to the invasion, and after.

The bully who frets about losing, or being perceived as losing, when his actions have caused unimaginable suffering to untold numbers, when the blood of children is on his hands, has lost any right to be listened to that he may have had. And when a speech like Durbin’s, crafted as the response of the opposition, buys into the same criminally self-centered world view, it perpetuates the shame, recirculating poison into the body politic. Shrewdness equals complicity.

1 comment:

whig said...

I agree, it was disgraceful.