Saturday, 31 October 2009

Dead 'Stan Vet: Trick or Treat!

First of all, I'd like to say that Bo Rama is the first commander-in-chief I've ever witnessed who's capable of rendering a proper military salute. Not that I care, mind you, but I think that that fact is an indication of the attention to detail that goes into entertaining the troops. Now, if the administration arranges to have the president's wax figure as a permanent fixture at Dover (as I doubt he'll be able to take time out of his busy schedule for every single homecoming), then we're getting somewhere.

Speculative wisdom, both informed (leaked) and otherwise (conventional), says that there will be a compromise on the number of Body-Bag Stuffing Units being shipped on over to 'Stan. Not the 40,000 requested, that is. A compromise, if you will. How reasonable.

Of course there is more going on behind the scenes. It takes a big production staff to plan a performance this controversial. When you consider that not everyone wants to see this play, the importance of matters like Set Design give way to the information in the Playbill, elevating the Director's Notes to the level of their own drama. Fortunately, believers and naysayer agree, there is no better person to deliver the penultimate soliloquy in that drama than O Mighty Rama.

"The weight" of this decision will have been great. Who knows, maybe there will be a snippet snatched from the page of the predecessor: Will our Lord and Savior have been consulted? I hope so. He's awesome. Granted, I don't attend his shows anymore, but this is the world stage, and no good drama would be complete without Him.

So my guess (more relatively uninformed, relatively conventional relative wisdom) is that the "numbers compromise" will be combined with something "comprehensive" that can be repeated by the critics on the following Sunday's roundup. You see, unlike standard American fare, these sorts of productions have a dramaturg, that is, someone to evaluate the script in its greater context, short of just leaking it to a test audience. The language, as they say, is crucial. And one thing this theater company has going for it is the Clintonian method of calling a spade a substance shuffler.

I don't believe it is easy to evaluate whether or not the current press benefits the hawks on this one. Granted, media is a Monger all its own, but it's the only thing we got. I'm not sure it is as important as it used to be, however, insofar as shaping public opinion no longer matters as much as it used to. But that is something I plan to blab about another time.

On the surface, though, undertaking press analysis can be interesting, frustrating, and amusing in quickly alternating doses. Immediately following the Dover photo op, the president's devotees were crying tears of patriotic solemnity out of one eye while spouting cries of preemptive rage at the Rabid-Right's hypocrisy sure to follow. The whole exhibition was beside the point.

Nevertheless, if you're going to get anything resembling reason from the mainstream, it's gonna come from the Left. Still, momentarily marginalized figures like Michael Moore are careful do give due thanks and praise at having "a smart man" in the White House, while leveling his own advance criticism at said leader's likely plan. Now if this ain't a good example of fanged-fellatio.

I dunno. I've been wary of the greasy baseball cap with an American flag-wearing style that this guy puts forth, but I can't fault his populism when I consider the truths he speaks to the face of power. Maybe he is onto something.

Along with the rest of the pundit class, he did seem to miss the opportunity to point out the synchronicity of the story about the Afghan version of Neil Bush, Roger Clinton, and Billy Carter all rolled into one, whose opium operation is being bankrolled by, who else, Central Intelligence (all the news that's fit to bury) and the fact that some of those just flown in to Dover were not only DoA, but also DEA. While Moore does rightly reiterate the absurd wrongness of continued company policy of paying off "the enemy" (my emphasis), he doesn't bother to make this even deeper, if coincidental, Orwellian connection.

Then again, the truth is the first casualty. It's not like President Karzai is any better than his brother. And until every discussion of warring in 'Stan is begun with the reminder that "it's the pipeline, stupid" or recommendations that we first "follow the money", there probably isn't much point in debating it.