Saturday, 28 March 2009

Image Nation: Reason

We have a new program: Destroy Au Gratin and feed the Potatoes. Make the world safe by picking out the cheese we've been baking onto the Pashtun pottery for a score of years, or longer depending on who "we" are. It threatens our way of life, we will go after this cancer that changed everything.

The channel has been changed at least. A different network will do the heavy bloviating while its viewers' synapses radiate gleeful intellectual supremacy complexes and hearts flutter with a certain pride at the sensible way we wage our campaign to keep stale words fresh in the forefront of the consumer's consciousness: stable peace, shared responsibility, comprehensive strategy, freedom and democracy. Ah, the Democrats and their pragmatic wars. I wonder how all this would resonate if it were hideouts in our neighborhoods being rooted out. Or if the last guy had made the exact same fucking speech.

War critics are chastised for not offering any alternatives, as if not waging war isn't an alternate approach. There were a few candidates in last year's presidential election who recommended a no war strategy, but once the field narrowed, they were not allowed into the debates. One of them was even removed from the same debate twice. All the complaints of the past eight years - that the antiwar stance received no air - is folly when considering the last fourteen months. Withdrawal from combat is not and has never been an option. It will never get the stamp of approval that those candidates so vied for: Viable.

The popular notion that just because we marched in, we can't march out is not worthy of moral consideration and the concept itself makes as much sense as a Rumsfeld press conference. We should get out. This is not about party politics, it is about killing innocent people. If one bothered to tune in to the history of both parties, recent and ancient, one'd discover an alarming tendency for war to be a bi-partisan undertaking, and by undertaking I mean all four senses of the noun.

So the bogeyman has been put back in the field of focus, with the extra super pragmatic bonus that we get two countries for the price of one, albeit a larger price. But I think we've learned by now that money is no object. Targets are objects. Yes we can serve justice!

Just a tiny problem would be that we haven't even proved that anyone there had anything to do with the crime that began the war; the admissions were belated after a more immediate denial, an all-too convenient recruiting method on both sides of the conflict; the relationships between the players (the Bin Ladens, the Bushes, Baker, Karzai, the Saudi Royal family, Rumsfeld, Rice, Musharraf, the Taliban, Central Intel, the list goes on) is at least as warrant-worthy in investigating such a massive crime as is anything that has to date been presented to the home-viewer-jury for consideration, which, if I must say so myself, is virtually nothing significant except for law enforcement- and airspace protection failures.

This war is not about America's sacrosanct victim-dom. That's just a convenient excuse to keep the viewer from zapping. But despite the high ratings - and I admit, it is just a matter of taste - war is wrong. And this war is wrong.