by "Time and Circumstance"
The lines are largely drawn - here and abroad. Here in that
blessed Land of the free questioning the powers that be has become synonymous
with hating this Nation. In Iraq, every move, whether beneficial to the notion
of the establishment of democracy or not, is trumpeted by our government and its
press as benefiting the Iraqi people even as their land sinks further into
A new leader chosen by the illegitimate governing council, put in place by a coalition provisional authority bereft of authority or legitimacy in the eyes of the citizens of the Nation which it claims breathlessly to have liberated, appointed by the nominal leader of the occupying power, who, himself, came to power under questionable circumstances… For the sage who said that democracy is messy, I tip my chapeau. But hats and questionable leadership aside, where is this drama in Iraq going? What has come before in the turbulent recent history of this nation has certainly been one epic tragedy for these long-suffering people. Does their future hold even half the promise that this administration and its supporters claim is our gift to bestow upon their wretched lives?
Even the most politically unaware know the basic outlines of this latest political tragi-comedy: Iraq as an imminent threat to our security - especially in light of the mind-bending events which transpired on September 11,2001 - justifies an invasion of that Nation. When none of the cartoon doomsday devices which Secretary of State Powell flashed at the United Nations were quickly found, the invasion was subsequently justified on the grounds of removing an evil dictator as opposed to the large number of supposedly good dictators who made up the bulk of our allies in the region.
With the removal of Hussein, our Government began to claim the establishment of a democracy in the Middle East as its ultimate desire - the wishes of the citizens of Iraq notwithstanding. In order to attain that laudable, presumptuous goal our government quickly installed a governing council of Iraqis hand-picked by the citizens of Iraq; no, no, I mean hand picked by the occupying power. Strangely, questions of legitimacy quickly arose and unlike the American people - who were told in the aftermath of the disputed Presidential “election” of 2000 to “move on” and, for the most part, did - the people of Iraq were somewhat resentful at this turn of events, being the ungrateful curs that they are. After all, we are putting their Country back together for them - aren’t we? Surprisingly (Predictably?) the counter-insurgency* flared to greater heights and our sons and daughters paid, in increasing numbers, for the sins of their leaders.
“Support our troops” they tell us. It has become - along with a handful of other catch-phrases - the answer to every question, the final words in every debate in America today: A broad assault on the rule of law, both at home and abroad? “9/11 changed everything”; Abuses and cover-ups? “Support our troops”, except, of course, for those who are made to serve as sacrificial lambs. Question the ever-shifting claims and rationales of this administration? “ We must stand united behind our President (sic) or the terrorists will gain strength from our divisions.” Do we have so little faith in a system of government that has withstood the rigors of time, that we must all march in silent lockstep; blind to the realities that present themselves daily to us? Sadly, those realities are spun and twisted like a potter’s clay to form something almost unrecognizable from its original form: we call this “the news”. And then there are the truths which we never see. Information that is classified for our own good, oftentimes information that already exists in the public domain. Like a black hole this administration pulls every scrap of information deep into its cavernous maw while ejecting a white-hot jet of propaganda. Every once in a while an uncomfortable question gets asked by some wayward reporter or grandstanding Congressman and, lo and behold, a carefully rendered chunk of that classified information comes hurtling like a meteor to smite whomever would dare challenge this administration’s pronouncements on matters of war and peace. A strange universe that we now inhabit; perhaps we should call it the Murky Way …
Of course, having written all of this, I do realize that there exists another possibility that I am sure has been advanced in many quarters before: What if this directionless,spasming foreign and domestic policy is by design? What if the thrice-daily miscalculations and outrages are of the “Dazzle ‘em with bullshit” School of Philosophy with Karl Rove its founder and most exalted master? We already know that Cheney’s minions made sure to enrich their compatriots with huge contracts for reconstructing what their benefactors have, and continue, to destroy (along with a few like-minded saboteurs) while jobless Iraqis sit and wonder when they get to partake in the fruits of their liberation. And while we’re on the subject of Dick Cheney, can someone tell me why he seems to have come out of hiding or why he was hiding in the first place? Never mind. Anyway, as someone a lot smarter than I once said: There is profit in confusion…
*And yes, Virginia, it is a counter-insurgency. Despite what you hear on the news and from our government our invasion of Iraq was the insurgency. Words do have power and the twisting of words and their meaning can reshape perceptions.