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Sunday, 3 February 2008

Flying Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew East. It must have seemed so simple to them.

Scare them to death with "shock and awe", take Baghdad, capture Saddam, seize the oil fields, disband the army, and turn the economy into a capitalist entrepreneurial free-fire zone. Set up an "interim" administration to assure that Parsons, KBR, SAIC, and the others make millions "rebuilding" the infrastructure and creating a military launching pad. No problem. Just sit back and absorb the adulation from the emancipated Iraqi people and the good people of America. Next?

Well yeah. I guess there'll be a few folks killed along the way. But this is in the service of freedom and democracy. Those broken eggs will make a great omelet - a decidedly western omelet. And we might tell a few fibs in the process, too. The American people wouldn't understand and might be skeptical if we told the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The victorious outcome is all they want, anyway. Isn't that what they "elected" us for?

So please don't bother us with irrelevant details. Shi'ites and Sunnis and Kurds? A Muslim's a Muslim, right? Insurgency? You mean a few rabid al-Kayduh types rolling around in battered Toyota pick-ups? No match for American fire power. Not to worry. Anyway, we got God on our side (and a lot of frustrated right-wing Christians, too).

One Flew West. Remember duct tape? Didn't you just love the pretty terrorist alert thingy? The President reminded us that, "when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping". Just keep watching "24" and we'll get you a new X Box.

Now look, folks . . . we're gonna have to make a few adjustments here at home to git it done. In support of our common security, we'll have to follow the "if you're not for us, you're against us" line. The Constitution just ain't helpful in situations like these. Everyone's the enemy, guilty until they're proven innocent (yeah, like that's gonna happen).

So don't complain, 'cuz complainers are terrorists (or liberals - same difference). Somebody gets "disappeared", just don't worry, OK? We got some real handy ways of convincin' 'em to 'fess up and rat out their fellow travelers. We got a war to win. Just keep knowing that Saddam masterminded 911, and we're gonna take good care of him.

Oh, yeah. And this is gonna cost a few buck, too. So we're gonna keep taxes on the rich and on the corporations real low so they can pay for this. Goes without saying that we're goona have to sacrifice some trees and rivers and po' folks, but good 'Mericans always are willing to sacrifice for their country in times of war. Just don't listen to those gutless ninnies who say that the good ole USA is going bankrupt behind this. After all, the bill won't come due 'til after we're all dead.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. A couple of weeks ago, watching news clips of Americans trampling and beating other Americans in stores trying to buy the latest popular trinkets and toys, I was hit (again) with a deep, disillusioned depression. Why didn't we see this kind of thing happen at polling places two weeks earlier, with Americans fighting each other to vote? I guess it's because we value the latest video game more than the activity of democracy and self-government.

I could see little difference between these store rioters and fourth-worlders bum-rushing the UN truck when it pulls up with water and powdered milk. Except that the Americans tend to be obese and white, the fourth-worlders skinny and black.

It seems like, to Americans, this government stuff is just a bother, an inconvenience that some (but not all) of us tolerate every couple of years. The only reason most of us show up to vote is that election campaigns have become beauty pageants or survival games just like on "reality TV". More