Saturday, January 20, 2007

Crystal Balls

Now that the water-carriers for the right have been completely exposed as either hucksters or dupes, they have reverted to yet another rhetorical diversion. They never run out of them, of course; the only alternative is to own up to their manifest intellectual failings. They would be more likely to give up the midnight binges of Yoo-Hoo and pork rinds.

Instead, they have moved ever so slightly to tacitly acknowledging that a clusterfuck of catastrophic proportions is indeed unfolding in Iraq, that it is not merely a conspiracy of America-hating journamalists, most of whom can't find their balls with both hands and a flashlight in the first place, forget finding the stones to speak Truth to Power.

Crucial to said contrived acknowledgement is the caveat that the people who opposed the war from its public inception at Bush's 2002 West Point graduation speech were not "right" either, or were "right" for the "wrong" reasons, or some such projected nonsense. Also essential is the sarcastic presumption that they owe no real recognition to anyone else, that we're not as fucking smart as we think we are, much less as smart as they think themselves.

Edroso nails the heart of this craven idiocy:

Speaking only for myself -- as someone who is decidedly not a dove, but who thought this war was a bad idea from the beginning -- I make no claim to analytical or any other kind of brilliance. If anything, I just have a lick of common sense, drummed into me by my late mother, who did not trust fancy salesmen who refrained from showing their merchandise; this trained me to look askance upon a war against someone who hadn't attacked us, justified only by the assertions of untrustworthy Republican poltroons.

Central to their presumptions is that anyone who opposed the sack of magic beans being shilled by Chimpco was automatically a pacifist. That was so patently untrue, given the fact that the vast majority of anti-war speakers and activists professed from the beginning to have wholeheartedly supported the necessity of action in Afghanistan. But like most everything else they believe, the notion had just enough of a whiff of truthiness to satisfy their own need for rationalization. Basically, as Roy says, there was no real art to understanding that this was all bullshit, doomed to failure. It was just common sense, skewed in the post-9/11 analytical haze.

Bottom line is that the single event to sway the necessary remaining wedge of Americans (including, regrettably, myself) was Saint Colin Powell putting the remainder of his dignity and integrity on the line for these neoclown boobs. (And really, how Powell manages to live with himself is truly a mystery. Tens of thousands of people have died unnecessarily, a half-trillion dollars wasted, no sign of either abating, at least partially because he gave his endorsement for this foolishness, knowing full well what had been concocted to justify it all.)

Well, lesson learned, at least for most of us. The folks that never intend to learn anything steadfastly ignore the obvious fact that as far back as four years ago, some people certainly did predict not only the abject failure of this venture, but even the corrupt mendacity of the propagandists enabling the lies to continue.

Or does it go deeper than that? Jeff Wells makes an argument that it does [all emphases in original]:

[Charles] Manson was left alone, [LA County Deputy Sheriff Preston] Guillory told [journalist Paul] Krassner, because "something big was coming down." Krassner asked "Why were you given such an order?" to which Guillory replied "I don't know. We didn't question our superiors." Krassner pressed: "Did you at least speculate as to the reason?" Yes, Guillory conceded: "Oh, we just figured they were gonna kill Black Panthers."

We were getting intelligence briefings that Manson was anti-black and he had supposedly killed a Black Panther. Manson was a very ready tool, apparently, because he did have some racial hatred and he wanted to vent it. But they hadn't anticipated him attacking someone other than the Panthers.

There's a lot of that these days, though much less speculative than Guillory's thoughts and several orders of degree more complicit. "No one could have imagined them taking a plane" and crashing it into the World Trade Center. No one could have foreseen the severity of Katrina. "No one anticipated the level of violence" in Iraq. But it's irrelevant here whether the celebrity Scientologist went off script or stayed on mission. The point is that Manson and his followers were untouched before the killings because authorities anticipated mayhem, not because they didn't, and for whatever reason they wanted to see some blood shed. In this respect, and almost certainly without suspecting it, the family became an undeputized branch of the LA County Sheriff's Department.

Does this mentality of power remind you of anything? Recall that destabilization of the region, as has been iterated many times in many places, was a feature rather than a flaw. The idea was that the wogs would sort out the worst characters on their own, and we would be left with shiny happy ay-rabs ready to give us their oil at pennies on the dollar, as well as endless gratitude.

And if that didn't work as advertised? Well, the planners and their buddies just happen to make enormous profits from the astronomical risk premium generated by the endless violence. See? Win-win, all the way, provided you inhabit that insular 1% that runs things.

It was evident even before the invasion that the war's intention included making a failed state of Iraq. That that's not yet conventional wisdom shows just how much too many still want to believe bad policy is made in good faith.

And as American and Iraqi bodies continue to pile up, and as Iraq slides toward failed-state status, the willful obstinacy of these barmy goons seems actually to increase, amazingly. It does not occur to most of them even to ask why, after four years of complete failure -- including that of a "summer surge" just last year -- another surge is somehow supposed to work. It doesn't occur to them to wonder about a contingency plan for this latest surge, given that actual military people from Wesley Clark to Oliver North are in agreement that it's a waste of lives, time, and money.

It doesn't occur to them to wonder, seriously, about the sanity and mental capacity of George W. Bush, who smirks and snickers and expresses increasingly bizarre body language when talking about impossibly grim events, who appears more and more disconnected from reality, from the opinions of people who actually know something about the country we're stuck in, from the consistent will of the clear majority of American citizens. Really, what sort of moral cretin actually has the goddamned nerve to assert that perhaps Iraqis have been insufficiently grateful for the carnage that's been unleashed upon them, for losing 5% of their population in just four years to war, murder, or displacement?

No, they would rather lob increasingly lame scuds out of desperation to protect their shriveled egos and compromised intellects. It galls them that they were so irretrievably wrong, and that the pacifist pussies and traitors were right. Sadly, it appears to gall them far more than the continuing waste of life that more and more becomes the mens rea of Bush's cataclysmic foreign policy. The time for chalking all this up to just a series of well-intentioned mistakes is done, and has been for some time.

The idea that we're all just supposed to keep going along with this bullshit, that we're all supposed to agree to double down everything on 33 Black just because they cavalierly insist that they were "wrong" for the "right" reasons, is revoltingly insane. They would do themselves and the rest of us a huge favor by just having a nice big glass of shut-the-fuck-up, and maybe taking a couple weeks off to reflect on whether they want to keep pumping their long-dry well.

1 comment:

roy said...

Fascinating -- and not just because you quoted me, nor even because you quoted that Wells guy (new to me, and a keeper). You have gotten the dimension most of us usually miss: beyond even their arrogance and ignorance, these people are literally depraved.

"George W. Bush, who smirks and snickers and expresses increasingly bizarre body language when talking about impossibly grim events" is not the focus of so much wrath because we suffer from some sort of bogus derangement syndrome, but because his increasingly obvious alienation from any recognizable human reality is such a perfect metaphor for the state of his detached and dysfunctional government.