What's All This Then?
Thursday, October 06, 2005
WAR UPDATES FROM THE KEYSTONE COPS
I like to vary the subject of my observations of the "passing parade" because there are just so many interesting things happening every day - here and around the world. And in outer space for that matter. There was a news item today about a couple of neutron stars crashing into each other - a sort of cosmic fender bender - and there was one that got sucked into a black hole. It all happened a couple of billion years ago - but in galactic terminology, the discovery of the events is current news.
But despite the vast array of subject matter that I could and would love to tackle - the hilarious activities of those goddammned keystone cops that purport to be running this country - and influencing events in other countries far removed from our shores - keep crowding all other items off the front burner of my mental stove.
I can almost understand why some people get the idea that people who write critically about the problems of our times get the impression that we blame President Bush for everything that goes wrong in the world. It’s just hard to leave his name out of most of those commentaries. But I’ll try not to make him the lead character in today’s farce - unless you want to assume that he’s the lead character even when a surrogate is being used to advance the convoluted plot. As in Dick Cheney. As in Dick Cheney who had "other priorities" during the Vietnam era.
Vice President Cheney, with his great insight in to matters military - due of course to his stint as Secretary of Defense in the Bush Senior administration - has once again given the nation the news that we have all been waiting for since the President (there, you see, it’s almost impossible to leave him out of it) declared that we had embarked upon a war on terror, later re-named the "global struggle against the enemies of freedom"
At the beginning of last year, things certainly looked grim and the President left it up to his number two man to let us know just how grim. This was a war, he told us, that would last GENERATIONS!! Not just a few years or a few decades, but generations!! Our children would be fighting this war. And our children’s children. This could be another 100 Years War!! (Actually, that one lasted 116 years).
I guess that grim assessment was to prepare us for the sacrifices that the President was about to ask of all citizens. A dramatic increase in taxes to pay for the battle ahead. Strict - perhaps even forced conservation of a whole range of commodities. And of course ,military service for all citizens between the ages of 18 and 50. I think we were all surprised when none of those things happened, but that was most likely because we were not privy to the information that Vice President Cheney was monitoring throughout 2004 and into the first half of this year - which he suddenly revealed to us on the venue to which all Americans look for Presidential and Vice Presidential revelations of great import - Larry King Live!!
There would NOT be generations of war after all. Things had changed. The ground war in which we were engaged - in Iraq - was almost over. The insurgency there was in its last throes!! That war - which clearly was at the very heart of the "terror" that we were battling - would be over by the time President Bush had finished his second term. No later than 2009. Hardly "generations."
Millions of mothers and fathers breathed huge sighs of relief - or at least those with c able who watched Larry King.
Of course there were critics - those people who blame Bush for everything that goes wrong anywhere in the world. The people who only read the bad news from Iraq. Some of them who actually report that bad news. They didn’t buy into Mr. Cheney’s analysis of how the war was going and how long it would take to wrap it all up.
But then we had other things that began to occupy us as much if not more than the global struggle against the enemies of freedom. Lots of things to occupy the public’s attention. The Valerie Plame "outing." Did Karl Rove and the Vice President’s own chief of staff commit treason? Hurricane Katrina. It made some Federal agencies look like Keystone Cops. Who the heck is in charge here? And Senate leader Frist. Was his trust "blind" or did he have Superman vision? And Tom DeLay - maybe heading for the hoosegow??
Obviously it was time for a reassessment of the most pressing issue of our time. Can we really put Iraq and the war on terror on the back burner and let all these other issues occupy the public’s attention? Maybe they didn’t understand what was meant by the "last throes" of an insurgency.
So yesterday, Mr. Cheney explained it. It’s one out of three. Or three on a match. Or rock, paper, scissors. You take the outside two, divide by the one in the middle and what you now come up with is a struggle that we will be engaged in for decades!! Not something that will be more or less won by 2009. Not something that will last for generations, involving our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren - but decades. Ten, twenty - maybe thirty years. And we have to be patient while those decades unfold he said. At least until we no longer need to be "at war" to keep the Cheney’s, Bushes, DeLays and Frist’s in power to continue to spread peace and democracy to the far corners of the earth.
And if we didn’t understand that, it surely was all cleared up today by whatever the President said in his "major speech" which I haven’t heard and not yet read but on which I’m sure I’ll comment on later today or tomorrow. As long as he isn’t pushed off the front page by a rocket launch from Iran carrying six suicide bombers on their way to blow up the moon.