Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Two Old Hippies on the Moon

I just saw Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton on CNN International here in Taiwan. Baker said with no hesitation and with a perfectly straight face: "The U.S. will stay in Iraq for a long time." He and the other old guy sitting next to him said a lot of other stuff, too, all of which the above quotation renders moot. No mention by either elderly gentleman, of course, of where a broke and increasingly indebted America will get the blood and funds to do all this "staying," let alone why any "sovereign" Iraqi government worth the name would allow the American military to remain on its territory or in its airspace for even a moment.

While watching this surreal, Orwellian scene, I had a flashback to some four decades ago when I witnessed a breathless, sweet young thing from Los Angeles announce her intention to go north to San Francisco where she intended to "live with" the hippy community there in the Haight Ashbury district. A TV interviewer asked her how she planned to support herself. "How will you eat?" he inquired. Her innocent, glassy-eyed reply:

"Why, food ... just ... 'is'!"

I never saw such improbable old hippies in my life as these two semi-embalmed establishment elders speaking of impending national bankruptcy without a care in the world. Somewhere in the back of my mind I could just hear them saying:

"Why, but ... blood ... and billions ... just … 'are'!"

Meanwhile, back in the "real" world:

They lost three thousand souls last month
While we lost seventy;
Yet we say the Iraqis have
No sense of "urgency."

We take our time; we drag our feet;
We dawdle and we stall;
Then we blame the Iraqis for
The snail's pace that we crawl.

Yes, I think I see poetic possibilities here, if not the doom awaiting unsuited astronauts exiting their spacecraft on the airless surface of the moon, foolishly taking the presence of oxygen and atmospheric pressure for granted.


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