Monday, July 11, 2005

Cross Dressing for Armageddon

I'm glad that in these screwed up times occasionally photograpers still get the perfect shot. The picture has two levels. On one level it looks totally fascist. Dear leader high up on a stage giving his blessing to the little people. Now go off to war and die for the Fatherland. Someone should tell Bush that he reminds people of Hitler when he does that salute. On another level the picture looks like Bush is wearing a big dress. It is the type of a dress you would see at the Calgary Stampede. (Or Calgary in general) On this level the photographer is saying that the President would make a fine transvestite.

Hilary Clinton was savaged (again) today because she compared President Bush to Alfred E. Newman of Mad Magazine fame. I myself was offended by this. Alfred was one of my childhood icons and I protest him being besmirched in such a comparison. I think Richard M. Nixon would be a much better comparison.

The over-bearing conservative media went nuts of course, and went into Clinton bashing hyper-drive. The things I read today you would not believe. The supreme moral authorities gave two reasons why Clinton's remarks should be censured: 1) You should not criticise the President (and if there is one thing American Conservatives taught us all with the Starr enquiry, it is that you should never insult the President.) 2. You should not criticize the President during a time of war, when he's busy fighting them over there because it is hard work and he has limited concentration. 3. Clinton is a popular liberal woman and a thus a threat and needs to be destroyed. Sorry, thats 3 reasons.

The deal is that the Bush supporters can say what ever they want about people who are considered enemies of the Administration - even to the extent of committing a felony by identifying a covert security agent - but no one can criticize the administration because its a time of war.

Of course no one dares to debate Hillary Clinton on the actual issues she raises: the lack of an effective strategy in Iraq or on Terrorism and the ruining of the American Economy through gross negligence. Its much less work to debate on the fringes about cartoon characters. This is called the Sponge Bob dampening effect. True debate of important issues in the media died a long time ago.

It occurred to me today in a moment of anxiety that the President of the United States has no idea who he is at war with nor what a victory would look like. All of the sudden the comparisons to Orwell's 1984 and perpetual war as a means of social control do not seem so far fetched. The war on Terror will probably end like most of the other American conflicts in the post WW2 era. They will abandon Iraq and Afghanistan leaving a total mess because the American People will tire of supporting war. (Of course there's always the risk of American bankruptcy as well.) But think about it, with this amorphous semantic blob called Terrorism, right wing politicians will be able to get elected for years and years from now just by claiming they are protecting people. The exploitation of fear and the pounding of little countries here and there will go on for ever.

One of Bush's main talking points has always been that fighting terrorists in other countries will pin them down and prevent them from attacking the west. This was a fall back position that was cooked after the WMD rationale did not work out. Its not a particularly bright argument and the attacks in Madrid and London seem to indicate that the terrorist cells in those cities were not all that pinned down. So who exactly is being pinned down and where? Some reporter should ask the President a question like this: Exactly how hard do you have to pound the civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan before you can guarantee that there won't be terrorist attacks in the West? How do you like your chances on that strategy? Please recommend this post

No comments: