Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Best of Intentions

Well, my intention for today was to blast the hell out of Obama's speech at West Point committing this country to endless war in Afghanistan, a policy I am so utterly opposed to that to my mind he has sunk as low as the vile little fraud that previously occupied the White House. I swear it must be something in that tea they give presidents to drink over at the Pentagon. Have you noticed that Obama cannot pardon the Thanksgiving turkey these days without some fawning reference to the military--their bravery, dedication, courage, sacrifice, yadda yadda? OK, maybe even all of the above, but do we have to continually be extolling their virtue? Come on. If we told the truth about it, the rank and file in the military are in the military not because they are virtuous, although that might be an incidental quality for some, but because they needed a frigging job and this was the best they could get.

But we don't tell the truth about it, do we? Our common mode now is to adore the military and cover them with posies at every opportunity. The military is never criticized. This is what we have come to. We have collectively decided to go along with further debasement of the word "hero"* and apply it to anybody in cami's without distinction. (All of the people shot by that nut case at Fort Hood a couple of weeks ago, for example, are "heroes." Nooooo, they are victims. I don't know if there were any heroes in that incident, although I'm willing to be educated.) All this just bespeaks a society in thrall to everything military, a militarized society, in other words.**

Just why was this presidential address--which commits this country to further death and maiming of who knows how many more American troops, to further hemorrhage of billions of dollars we do not have, to further killing and maiming of God knows how many Afghani people, to strengthening the hand of that godfather of fraud and corruption Karzai, to further enrichment of the blood-sucking military contractors who are feeding on these mid-East wars like vultures, to indefinite postponement of vital initiatives here in the U.S.--just why was this address given at West Point? I think I heard that Bush gave the speech there that committed us to go to Iraq, which makes this choice of venue even more censurable. But even if that's not right , this is just cheap theater, that's all. All those earnest, fresh-faced, gray-clad cadets--nobody is going to yell "you lie!" in this venue, although it would have been appropriate at several points--all those innocents, those earnest lovers of the U.S. of A.! So much more attractive and photogenic than sitting in the Oval Office.

There are a host of bloggers just like me who are outraged at this betrayal by Obama. Read Chris Floyd's scathing assessment, Arthur Sibler's aptly titled "A Deadly Liar and Manipulator,"

If you think we're leaving this part of the world any time soon, or perhaps even in your lifetime, you'll believe anything. But that's all right: lots of Americans do precisely that. 
But all of this is standard issue for rulers of Empire; the rhetoric and presentation may be of better quality than offered by Bush or that would have issued from McCain, but the points are essentially identical.
See also here, here, and here.

Whoops. It appears that I'm not going to get around to my original intent, which was to tell you that my collection of poems has indeed been published and is now a book. I'll tell you about that tomorrow. I had the best of intentions, but, damn, I cannot get past this latest atrocity from a guy I once had such hope in.  What a fool I was to believe that it was really going to be different this time.

*hero -1. any person, esp. a man, admired for courage, nobility, or exploits, esp. in war; 2. any person, esp. a man, admired for qualities or achievements and regarded as an ideal or model. (www.

**Helpful in understanding this is Andrew Bacevich, The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War (2005)
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