War Notes from the Darkest Corner of Texas

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NEWS
FLASH: "Bush began a second term vowing to confront tyranny
everywhere. In his inaugural address, the president issued a sweeping
pledge to spread liberty “to the darkest corners of the world” –
Wall
Street Journal Online,
January 22, 2005

Omigawd,
here they come, the Bushies I mean, with their machine guns rat-a-tat-tatting,
helicopter blades clop-clopping, Hummer brakes squealing, Abrams
tank treads grinding, small arms fire going off like popcorn in
a hot-air popper, drones and fighters roaring overhead, "blockbuster"
bombs threatened but so far held in reserve, thank God. The whole
thing as it unfolds before us in darkest America is awesome, indeed
shocksome.

The
monstrous hellzapoppin array of high-tech, freedom-dispensing
gadgetry
has been unleashed on li'l old West Texas, where I live, because
the simple fact is – we've long known it in these parts – we are a "dark
corner" of America, where tyranny rears its ever-ugly head,
and we are a woefully ignorant populace thanks to chronic government-school
malfunction. Our local Saddam Husseins (I'll name no names) are
a tough bunch, almost as tough, man for man, as the Odessa City
Council. They are not going to be chased away by mere rhetoric.
So – heaven be thanked for George W. Bush – we are going to be saved
by being blasted into tomorrow. But, hey, no pain, no gain, right?

El
George is on a roll. Anybody can see that. His inspired speech on
being inaugurated has lit a fire in men's minds that cannot be extinguished.
Justin Raimondo says this metaphor is just warmed-over Dostoyevsky
(from his novel The
Possessed
), but Justin is way too literary. George has never
read The Possessed, so he can't be accused of plagiarism.
Speech writers, smeech writers: if they give him bad lines, they
are the people to go after. Leave our own West Texas W alone.

W
is an original. No need to borrow; he just reaches down into the
depths of his being and up well phrases and notions that are going
to transform the whole world, not just West Texas. But it is fitting,
I suppose, that the remaking of the world along Bushian lines should
begin here, because between Odessa and our sister city, Midland,
20 miles east, we have no fewer than three (count 'em, three) Bush
Homesteads – one in Odessa, two in Midland – all now in the process
of being turned into (very expensive) shrines that will memorialize
the simple, folksy, not to say log-cabin origins and way of life
of the Bush dynasty, after the family came down here in the 1940s
from Connecticut and Kennebunkport with an approximate mandate,
some say, to take over the oil business for the New York bankers.

All
us hombres out here – in fact all hombres everywhere – better get used
to the idea that if you don't go for W's notions of Freedom and
Democracy, and for the ready acceptance of detailed direction from
D.C., in particular from the totalitarian flank of the totalitarian
wing of the World's Most Righteous (as opposed to right) Party – I
mean of course the G.O.P. as managed by Rove & Co. – you are,
not to put too fine a point upon it, going to be so much meshuga
history, so much minced matzo ball. In other words, you are going
to be gone, deleted, replaced, kaput, finished, gone by, become
emphatically last year, not to say last century, even
last epoch.

To
put it plainly, you will be squashed flat by the Bush Imperial World-Rescuing
and World-Reforming Juggernaut. These people are, as they
have tellingly said, making a new reality, and all we can
do about it is react to it. (The they are our rulers; the
we are "we, the people.")

All
we can do is react to it?

With
that thought presented with absolute clarity in a thoroughly lurid
and horrible dream, lo!, I awoke and realized it had not yet come
to pass; it was after all only a dream brought on by indigestible
rhetoric.

In
reality all is not yet lost. This is America, after all, or at least
the Southwest corner of it, and although we have long since got
used to the steady waves of admiring invaders coming across the
Big River to join us in our revels, it is still true (I think) that
no one considers it wise to attack the American people, as uniquely
a well-armed nation as we are, if we were to take to the streets
to repel armed and unwelcome boarders with even a
tenth of the élan of the Iraq insurgency.

Those
Iraqi 4th Generation-War exponents are in the process
of proving that the whole fantastic armamentarium of the Lone Superpower
can't put down a bunch of people tossing homemade bombs at invaders'
passing vehicles. As a result, our armies there are coming unglued,
as William
Lind says, quoting Colonel John Boyd
.

I've
said before
, and I'll say it again, that I think W's second
term threatens to see his whole regime come unglued, especially
if he assumes Americans are any more passive than Arabs when it
comes to permanently forking over their homeland to enemies.

January
25, 2005

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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