Wednesday, March 01, 2006

ALL IS WELL! We seem to be getting lots of panicky Don't Panic messages about Iraq these days. The authors of these messages curse liberals and the media, as usual, but increasingly include on their shit list the American people as a body.

Victor Davis Hanson, for example, reads a list of negative features of our occupation (tendentiously conflating Abu Ghraib with the flushed Koran story, as if torture/murders were the equivalent of a newsman's gaffe), and then dismisses any and all concerns with this ineptitude and depravity as "American hysteria," "acrimony at home" about which there is a "disturbing sameness." (Well, what the hell, why not throw in an aesthetic objection?) Among the wrong-thinkers, Hanson interestingly names not only his usual despised liberals but also some conservatives "who insisted that we needed more initial troops are often the same ones who now decry that too much money has been spent in Iraq."

In fact, we -- not the Royal kind -- are to blame, at least as compared to the sainted military: while "we point fingers at each other," says Hanson, "soldiers under fire point to their achievements." This is followed by patriotic mush, Kiplingesque complaints about how hard war is to do properly ("Put too many troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we earn the wages of imperialism... Yet deploy too few troops, and instability arises in Kabul and Baghdad"), and finally the warning that we are in danger of losing the war at home. (That means you, citizen! Put out that light!)

A similar tactic is employed by Fifty-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters only, as we have come to expect from the General, more hilariously. The Kipling musk here suffuses the entire column: the Iraqi people are portrayed as children whose "moral infrastructure" was "wrecked" by Saddam Hussein, and who must be re-parented by the U.S. Armed Forces. Like a good Daddy, G.I. Joe will "deliver expertise and spare parts, but won't do their work for them." That's how they learn! (And all those bombs we dropped on them? That's like a skinned knee.)

By God, these little monkeys may yet make it -- if you treasonous Americans don't fuck things up! "I didn't see any of our self-righteous critics in the Risalah slum," sneered the General. "But I did see Sgt. Maurice Harris, Spec. Victor Tsung and PFC (hey, promote that guy!) Brad Sheets, along with their comrades in arms. They were soldiers to the core..." And we see them marching into history, superimposed over an American flag on a hill, while the soundtrack plays "Have You Forgotten When Saddam Bombed the WalMart?" So who are you punks to question the soldiers' successes at sewage treatment in this little town -- and, by extension, throughout the Middle East? In a sidebar the General warns the People: "You are being lied to. By elements in the media determined that Iraq must fail. Just give 'em the Bronx cheer." And we'll be paying attention to who blows and who doesn't, maggot!

The thing you have to remember is: these people have been in charge for years. They run the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Federal Governments, and most Statehouses and State Legislatures. We are ruled, for all intents and purposes, by an unfettered and barely-challenged Republican Party. They have been left free to put their heaven-sent recipes for glory into operation.

And yet, citizens who are not commie-faggot-punk-MSMers are still losing faith in the cooked-up Iraq adventure.

So the Party in Power scrambles: they're going to shift from blaming whatever little troubles (be it a humorously misplaced Koran, or a man beaten to death by U.S. military "consultants") on that bale of straw called Libruls, to blaming it on us, by which they mean you.

It's worth a try. If it doesn't work, South Dakota can always float a law instituting the Rule of the Saints up to the Supremes. For every problem, there is a solution.

UPDATE. Must be something in the air because lots of smarter people than me are on this case. (Warning: some of this stuff involves Jeff Goldstein, so if you follow the links back to their source be prepared for long debate-club dissertations about how you don't understand English etc.)

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