Monday, January 29, 2007

Marching to Nowhere

For a city under 30,000 people, this is a fairly political place. We don't even have a college, though there is one up the road about six miles, but seem to get plenty of folks to come out and send up another protest against the war.
We even joined other cities last Saturday in letting it be known again that we're just not going to take it any more!, except that we probably will. You see, there were plenty of marches and protests before the original "Shock and Awe" got going, with plenty since, and in countries we used to think of as pals. The sad part is that, as much as the voice of the people is supposed to determine the route taken by the Ship of State, that voice just doesn't carry too far today. Think about it. We now have plenty of books about the pre-Iraq invasion strategizing, but not one of them seems to have an anecdote about how the President or Vice President stopped in mid-plot to wonder about the protests that would happen if the public were outraged enough. It just never came up. So I, having learned this lesson, didn't go to the protest.
I don't think they care. Remember the recent post-election euphoria from Democrats? In the midst of it, Mr. Cheney flatly declared that it would be "full speed ahead" in Iraq, implying that the new Congress was welcome to take a flying leap at the moon. Mrs. Pelosi clucked a little protest at the time, but who's clucking now? The Decider has said that, generals be damned, we're surging to the tune of 20,000 or so new troops in Iraq, most destined for Baghdad trying to help the two main sides NOT resolve the always hot question of the rightful successor to Mohammad as espoused by the Sunnis and Sh'ia. Next thing you know, the new Secretary of Defense is sternly reminding us that protests of any kind by Congress against our strategy du jour are sure to bolster the morale of the bad guys. In other words, "Button yer lips and get in line! This is WAR, you pansies! You think you have democracy? The PRESIDENT will tell you when you've got democracy!! You pansy senators backed him. Now your job is to FUND this war, and at the level WE want! Is that clear, ladies!!??" And fund it they will, because they have no other choice.
We have no leverage left against Bush. He lied. We shrugged and wrote books about it. He continues to lie, and we salute - "Not the man" (we remind ourselves) -"The office." He selectively enforces the laws with his "signing statements", ships prisoners around the Mediterranean so we can deny that WE torture anyone, taps phone lines without warrants, opens mail, and leaves people he doesn't like on the "delay, frisk and grope" list at the airports. He makes plans for the next liberation, he won't stand for election again, he's got plenty of money and he says he doesn't care about his legacy with the historians. He can construct a giant library in Texas full of files that no one can unseal for 100 years. We can't touch him.
On the day he leaves office, assuming he doesn't find a new clause in the Constitution that allows him to simply seize power, he'll leave his best wishes for President Giuliani and mutter to his biographer that he would have achieved victory in Iraq if only the people hadn't bailed on him before his final victory. "Those weasels in the press."He'll say. "Make sure our people get the word out that it's all the media's fault." And they will.


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