Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Don't hold your breath

"The current catastrophic situation in Iraq is completely and wholly the fault/result of the ill-judged military adventure initiated by your Idiot-in-Chief GW Bush and the cabal of war-profiteering NeoCon vultures surrounding him."

That's a snippet of what "Lindsey" had to say in reply to an article about Blackwater in last week's Scottish Sunday Herald. Actually, Lindsey (from Scotland) was responding to "Amanda" (from the US), who was bitching about unfriendly media coverage of the war.

As much as I admire Lindsey's vivid way with the language--and as much as I sympathize with his/her exasperation with American Amanda--something about that remark rings false to me. I haven't been able to put my finger on what, until yesterday. There was a guy ahead of me in the checkout line at the supermarket, 80 years old if he was a day, and he was wearing a black T-shirt with "BUSH SUCKS" in big white letters. Of course, my first reaction was delight. Surely it's the end of all political hope for the Bush/Cheney "cabal" when old white guys in the suburbs of Nashville, Tn. turn against it.

Then it hit me. I realized that in spite of my pretensions to having some kind of semi-sophisticated political ideas, I have been secretly nursing the dream that things are going to change after the 2008 musical chairs in Washington. I've gotten sucked into the hope that Bush is the leader of some special demonic tribe, and when we get rid of them the world will be rosy again. Or at least rosier.

I do think things might get slightly rosier domestically. It's just possible that a Democrat will do something about health care, and it's just possible that a handful of people not sickened by the idea of civil liberties will be allowed in government. But when it comes to American foreign policy, it's going to be more of the same. We're not leaving Iraq any time soon, no matter who's president. (FWIW, I am of the opinion that the plan from the get-go was to establish a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq. The Republicans and Dems alike expected the work would be done and the natives pacified long before the 2004 election, which is why they were all so freakin' gung ho for the invasion.)

As for attacking Iran, HRC is all for it. Obama talks it down now, but he has supported surgical strikes in the past. Edwards is about as cagey on the subject as it is possible to be, but he's always been a good little imperalist, and there's no reason to think he's going to change.

And what about Dennis Kucinich? Let's face the fact he will never, ever be president of this country unless 30 or 40 million of his buddies on another astral plane get their shit together and register to vote. More to the point (and please don't take this personally, Kucinich supporters) that little bastard scares me. Do we really want a guy who teams up with Marianne Williamson to promote a U.S. Department of Peace running a big chunk of the world? Frankly, I don't want Dennis and Marianne's spiritual values imposed on my life, any more than I want Pat Robertson's or the Pope's. And I don't want the U.S. government trying to impose those values around the world, just as I deplore the neocons' ideas about "spreading democracy." Let's quit cultural imperialism cold turkey, shall we?

So, that's my gloomy rant for today. If anybody out there sees a reason for hope, feel free to share. I won't tell you you're wrong, but I have to warn you that I'm tough to convert.


Renee said...

You're more optimistic than I am, as it is.

BitterGrace said...

Well, you know me, Little Mary Sunshine...

Bozo said...

Things in Iraq aren't going to change any time soon, regardless of election results. HRC herself speaks of a phased long-term re-deployment. The fact is that we are so locked down on the ground in Iraq that as a practical matter it will be very difficult to get everyone out-- ever. Remember the last helicopters lifting off the embassy roof in Saigon? Imagine being the last soldiers on the ground in Bagdhad under fire and awaiting their re-deployment flights. Bush has gotten us into a far worse mess than we can imagine.

Margaret said...

Here's a gloomy note of hope: To say that nothing will get better if the neocons are thrown out on their asses is only one side of this particular coin. Perhaps it's hope enough to say it's just barely possible, once they go, that nothing will get worse. But if for some currently unimaginable reason they DON'T get thrown out on their asses, there's no doubt that things will get horribly, unbearably worse. Roe will be the first to go, and that's just for starters.

BitterGrace said...

Margaret, you're worried that I'm going to vote for Ralph Nader again, aren't you? Fear not, I don't even have the spirit left for a protest vote.

I suspect I'll just wind up going for whoever has a domestic agenda I can stomach, and resign myself to grief and shame over the rest of the world.

For the record, the fact that you finally chimed in on the blog cheers me up considerably ;-)

Mary said...

I'm taking my hope in tiny little batches. Get FuckWit out of office and at least make a start on ending the war and repairing our national stature abroad. I'll be satisfied with that, even if it takes most of the next Prez's term. The Dems aren't glowing saviors by any means, but damn near anything is an improvement.

Phydeaux Speaks said...

While I agree with your basic premise (which is one reason I'm in favor of eradicating the "two party" system and installing a representational legislature), I want to point out one thing.

I do not believe that Dennis Kucinich would "impose" anything. My opinion of him is that he is a sincere person - which is unfortunately a political oxymoron.

That, as much as anything else, is why he faces such an uphill battle.

BitterGrace said...

Okay, Mary, now I will never be able to think of him as anything but FuckWit. I will have to be very careful when I go visit my mother.

Phydeaux, I respect your support for DK, but we just have to agree to disagree on him. In fairness, he doesn't scare me any more than Hillary does, and far less than friggin' Guiliani. Even though I can't endorse him, I think he's the best thing about the Dem primary circus and I'm glad he's there, just as I'm glad the Republicans have to put up with Ron Paul.