A Crazy Blueprint for a Crazy Time

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I
struggle against wishful thinking, but it is hard, hard. There are
so many wonderful signs that this evil administration is on the
edge of deconstruction (you see how one has learned to fling the
word "evil" about) that hope and happiness leap up, despite
all one can do to keep them down. Oh, merciful Lord, may it be that
D.C. shall be cleansed as Hercules once cleansed those stables.

One
wants the utter rout of these wretched human beings who send young
citizens off to mad wars telling them they are to "end evil
in the world." The assumption has to be that these young people
are stone ignorant of even the most rudimentary classical and Christian
psychology, which has always recognized that there are two in each
of us, one good, bright, honest, true; the other, "the deceitful
man," wicked, selfish, crafty, lying. The line between the
two, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, goes right down the middle
of each human heart. And we have each to decide, over and over again,
for the right thing, if, with God's help, we can.

I
find myself in a mood to take stock as we wait to see the denouement
of the various investigations, commissions, inquiries, and continuing
new revelations. Will it be a release from this ghastly thralldom
the nation has entered – a war state, a police state, a detested rogue
state – or will it be a vindication for these architects of ruin?

So,
to take stock. Or should I rather say stick with me as I make conjectures?
This is not history I am writing, it is simple speculation; but
in the absence of any truth-telling in high places, what can one
do but speculate?

Our
oil boys, coming to power, found already in place in various D.C.
think tanks some very verbal types (somewhat unkindly but justly
known as armchair warriors or laptop bombardiers) who had a whole
rationale for taking over Iraq that never mentioned oil. They even
had a whole list of states lined up as targets behind Iraq, such
that when we emerged from battle, which was sure to be a piece of
cake, we would be sitting in firm control of the world's oil, of
course permanently denominated in dollars. Israel would benefit,
but that was perhaps incidental; from the oil point of view an excellent
smokescreen and, mirabile dictu, it came complete with a whole crowd
of Christians-of-a-sort to keep up the clamor for "saving Israel."
A veritable smoke-making machine on the stern of the Ship of State.

With
the oil, and a superb military to defend it against all, who could
challenge us? Let the Arabs make their damn rugs or whatever, for
heaven's sake. Let China manufacture its little heart out; Let Germans
and Japanese do their busy, ingenious, high-tech manufacturing thing
as such ants always like to do. Who will they sell their wonderful
gadgetry to but us? And for what? Why oil, of course, the one thing
needful to keep this whole show rolling smoothly along. Who rules
oil rules the world. And it's a crying shame the present crowd of
towelheads are as much in the driver's seat as they are, not that
they know where the hell to go. Time for a change. Allons, enfants,
to Baghdad, Damascus, Riyadh, Cairo, and glory!

For
a good while things were humming along like a well-oiled sewing
machine, things fitting together neatly with hardly a visible seam.
Military up and obeying, grand! Media in line, flags waving, stirring
music ad lib. Better yet! Congress cowed (so what else is new).
Peaceniks and other complainers effectively sealed off, talking
to themselves on their damned Internet. But OUR television, OUR
sturdy TV, standing steady to the helm, pouring out the Things One
Should Think and the Attitudes One Should Have, so that no one should
be at a loss for what to think or say – in and amidst a riot of entertainments
sufficient to keep a Roman emperor (one of the poorer ones) amused
till morning.

Some
people have supposed our chief rulers were themselves taken in by
the drums pounding for Israel, but I think not. People whose overmastering
vice is greed are not apt to fall for appeals to bail out this nation
or that for auld lang syne. Not their kind of thing. But explain
how "interests dovetail," and now we have a deal.

It
was all so neat. And now is seems to have gone wrong. Who can say
what it was that started the unraveling? But it does indeed seem
to be unraveling. Perhaps we'll (they'll) find someone to pull a
rabbit out of a hat. What this country needs is a few good magicians
and a good five-cent cigar.

February
18, 2004

Tom
White [send him mail]
writes from Odessa, Texas. He is the author of Bill
W., A Different Kind of Hero: The Story of Alcoholics Anonymous

(2003).

Tom
White Archives


        
        

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