Way To Go, Charles!

OK, back to politics. Charles Pierce has a wild way with words. Here’s his latest (last paragraph) from Eric Alterman’s Altercation:

That story this week about how the war in Iraq has fallen off the general radar is almost incomprehensibly sad, and not merely because it advantages The Saintly Straight-Talkin’ Maverick Dude, which it does. It’s sad because it’s of a piece with the whole effort by the Avignon Presidency to run everything about the response to the 9-11 attacks off the books. Go shopping. You don’t need to know why we’re going to war, and we’re going to lie to you about it anyway. Don’t photograph the coffins. Don’t count the dead. Keep the cost out of the federal budget and off television. If they didn’t need the children of ordinary people to die to get what they want, they might have been able to turn the whole thing into a gated community of the soul. And now, nobody’s paying attention, and nobody’s angry when the people who get paid to pay attention run around yelling about Eliot Spitzer’s banging hookers and the latest blurp from a crotchety old fool like Geraldine Ferraro. Also this week, the Pentagon went out of its way to bury the news that it’s own study has concluded that one of the primary casus belli — the Iraq-al Qaeda connection — was the moonshine that several previous studies said it was. The news dropped with a thud and life went on. The country was told, in a hundred different ways, not to care about this war — or, really, the one in Afghanistan, either — and it has learned the lesson all too well. I don’t know how I’d feel if I were a soldier, or the father of one. But this country is nowhere near as balls-out angry as it ought to be, and none of the contending candidates seem willing or able to become the vehicle of righteous democratic-small-d rage. I don’t want to come together with these people. I want them in irons until they tell me where my country went.


For an excellent discussion of the issues raised by Geraldine Ferraro, see this post by Brian Donohue.

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  1. Aileni Noyle’s avatar

    I had the weirdest sense whilst reading this of Robert Heinlein’s ‘Starship Troopers’. RH was hammered in SF circles for writing a fascist diatribe but I saw it in terms of futility of sending young men to die in a remote place for the wrong reasons. It’s years since I read it but there are decided echoes.
    Do you think the national perception would change were they to stop calling it a war but an Army of Occupation ? Vietnam was a war – this is futile attrition. Will 4000 dead signal a change or will it be lost in the fear of serious recession.
    I can’t help recalling that clip you put up a few weeks ago.

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks for those thoughtful comments, Aileni. Yes, America is having trouble grappling with or accepting that sending young men to die in a remote place for the wrong reasons is just plain bad. Some in our media call it an occupation while I think most in the MSM call it war. Still, I think the polls show that the majority of Americans are against the war. But what does this mean? Are we to withdraw, but only with honor? How long will this take? Are we supporting the troops? On and on and on! The arguments never end and the war/occupation drags on. More die, more suffer, mainly the Iraqis. When Bush leaves will things even change?

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