Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gradual Catastrophic Omelets

Yes, fellow Catastrophic Gradualists, the two old hippies without spacesuits on the moon -- Messrs Baker and Hamilton -- have come up with seventy-nine proposals for things that might work should America ever adopt the one proposal that it adamantly proclaims it won't: namely, leave Iraq. In other words, the "American Political Peril Patrol" (misnamed deliberately as the so-called "Iraq Study Group") has labored mightily and come to the conclusion that somebody had better start learning to make omelets instead of just breaking eggs, so to speak. Otherwise, the fate of America's indigenous Romanovs and Rasputins might come to resemble in uncomfortable respects that of their Russian namesakes in 1917. But not to worry, these things take time and nothing happens all in an "instant" (i.e., an Orwellian euphemism meaning "four years" to George W. Bush and eight "next-six-critical-months" to Thomas Friedman.) So all hail the onset of the glacier race whose finish line our descendants may one day descry at the beginning of the next geological epoch. A marathon, not a race; then a journey, not a marathon; then, a suggestion, not a schedule; then, a goal, not a commitment; then the Ice Age commeth. "America will stay in Iraq for a long" ... long ... long ... long "time."

Meanwhile, the canary Democrats in Congress have already sniffed the poison gas of a monumental 160-billion-dollar Pentagon porkbarrel raid on the treasury -- the most blatantly naked to date -- and dutifully expired before even entering the darkened mine shaft. Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Senator Bernie Sanders (who between them pass for the only "Left" in American political life today) have clearly said that we cannot possibly allow Sheriff Dick and Deputy Dubya any further free-lunch, rob-the-future, creative "financing" for their Warfare Welfare and Make-Work Militarism other than for troop withdrawal from Iraq first -- using the seventy billion dollars already appropriated by the previous Congress. Anything else remains open for the porkers at the trough to negotiate "later."

Hint! Hint! Democrats: take "now" (i.e., Peace) now and let the Republicans have "later" (i.e., War) later. They certainly didn't have any problem doing for themselves first and doing to you later when they held the purse strings for the past twelve years. Just keep saying to yourself what Dick Cheney said after the Republicans won the previous mid-term elections: namely, "We won the mid-terms. This is our due." And if any Republicans come around whining about their isolation and irrelevance, just say to them (with a smile) what Dick Cheney said to a Democratic Senator not long ago: namely, "Go fuck yourself." [End stud buzzard quail-hunter quotes.]

I agree with those who claim that the so-called "Iraq Study Group" had little to do with Iraq and everything to do with covering up for bungling American policy makers who have once again tried to make a sandwich out of soup. But in that case, this collection of over-the-hill political hacks should have honestly called themselves the "America Study Group." Not having the honesty to openly address themselves to themselves-as-the-problem, they have tried to drag the hapless Iraqis into their own muddied puddle as a rubber-ducky life preserver. Haven't the Iraqi people suffered enough from these arrogant and self-centered people? America needs to take care of its own domestic political "American" problems: what H. L. Menken called "the strife of the parties at Washington" and what Barbara Tuchman called "intimidation by the rabid right at home." Solution of this problem will save the rest of the world -- and especially the Iraqis -- the awful trauma of having to endure America's good-intentioned "help" paving for them another eight-lane superhighway straight into the hellish tunnel at the end of the light.

As a former South Asian ambassador to America and France once explained to me why his government turned down American offers of military aid: "If the Americans come, they will just draw an arbitrary line through a temporary problem and make it permanent." The Koreans would understand perfectly. No doubt the Iraqis now understand, too.

No promised omelets, fellow Catastrophic Gradualists; just more and more broken eggs -- and those mysterious, unauthorized electronic withdrawals from the kids' trust fund for mystical "meals" that no one has ever identified, let alone consumed.


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