Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A BIT OF THE OLD ULTRAVIOLENCE. The New York Post leads with the “dramatic finding” of a “new poll” that shows Americans do not like to think of themselves as quitters. Well, when you put it that way (the poll asked whether or not respondents “support finishing the job in Iraq”), who can disagree? (Forty-one percent of respondents, surprisingly.)

The agenda of the polling outfit, the sinisterly named Public Opinion Strategies, is apparent not just from secondary sources but also from the makeup of POS’ management and the content of its website (“Public Opinion Strategies mourns Republican losses”). Even Right Wing News finds their poll a little confusing (“I’m not quite sure what to make of these numbers, to be honest").

Still, I would not be too surprised if this really catches the thinking of many Americans.

First, we are a notoriously optimistic people, and when Republican operatives lay thickly upon us their customary patriotic hectoring, it reliably stirs in us a touching, Charlie-Brown-like faith that, this time, the football will be held steady for us to kick.

This betrays a rather charming naivete on our part, as I'm sure all but the charred and bombed victims of our naivete would agree. What is less charming is the added ingredient of to-hell-with-them brutality which the operatives are using as a sort of retro-rocket to help this load of crap achieve escape velocity.

As our friends at Sadly No have noticed, the warbloggers have long since abandoned their solicitude toward the poor, purple-fingered Iraqi citizens and, to chase the war-weariness of ordinary citizens, are pushing the Surge as an almost-final solution that will, with just a leetle more patience, both dispose of the bothersome body bags and preserve a "W" for the U. S. of A. (reigning champs, Western Division). They started by complaining that we haven't been slaughtering ruthlessly enough, and now, as Sadly shows, they're citing the glory days of British imperialism and cold steel in the bellies of the fuzzy-wuzzies as a positive model.

This is unsurprising. From the earliest times, their kind has understood that the best way to keep us on board a war machine is to excite our savage natures -- or, if we don't have such natures, to instill them. Which is why we now get bizarre assertions by prominent right-wingers that the great thing about the TV show "24" is not that it makes time pass quickly for shut-ins, but that it inures us against our own moral qualms about torture.

If you are astonished that folks who bray continually about government interference with their cold, dead hands, and about the coarsening effects of tits and ass, should approve of a reverse Ludovico Technique that (they hope) will turn us into sociopaths, then you haven't been paying attention.

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