The Decider Hath Decided…
by Tom Chartier
by Tom Chartier
...to wait until next year. Why bother? We all know what's in that big box hiding behind the Christmas tree… and nobody wants to open it.
With the Iraq Study Group's Report securely stashed in the circular file, The Decider hath decided.
I feel so relieved.
After all, why disrupt the retailers' cash cow: Christmas. It might be their last juicy one. There's nothing like the announcement of more war, death and destruction not only to dampen public ardor for shopping but also to diffuse investor confidence on Wall Street.
Advice contrary to that which he wants to hear has never been popular with George W. Bush. His circular file is overloaded with such non-sense as reports of imminent large-scale al-Qaeda attacks (January, 2001), Katrina warnings (August, 2005) and Economic warnings (September, 2003). Indeed, the bin overrunneth with the words of naysayers on the wisdom of invading Iraq. Simply put, if you tell The Decider something he doesn't like, your report goes into the Ignore and Incinerate File.
George, and only George will decide… with some "sage" whisperings from that little demon sitting on George's shoulder, Dick Cheney.
And what is this big decision for which we eagerly wait? You guessed it. The war in Iraq shall escalate with a "new way forward"… more troops. Defeat is not an option. The impossibly unattainable "victory" must be pursued at all costs. Just as he did when Al Gore won the 2000 Election, George has decided that he shall stay the course. This time it will take more than the U.S. Supreme Court.
One thing will change. The slogan.
Having signaled loudly in November that he wants to get out of Iraq, the U.S. voter is being softened up by the Decider's feigned indecision. Attention Deficit America will have forgotten all about the Iraq Study Group's sugarcoated pill by the time George announces his new plan. Sure, a few changes have been made: Donald Rumsfeld has been handed his hat and replaced with the slick operator Robert Gates. Returning from a fact-finding trip to Baghdad, the new Secretary of Defense and former C.I.A. head will bring home reports for George. These will either be filed in the afore-mentioned bin or utilized to sell the "new way forward."
The fact is that George has already decided to send in more troops, thousands more. It's the same old neocon mantra of expansionist imperialism. Oh of course the troops will be sent in "temporarily." Temporarily as in forever: Just like when your mother-in-law moved in while her boiler was being repaired. However if you seriously buy that "temporary" crappola, then you must still believe in the Easter Bunny. Make no mistake; the war in Iraq is a long-term adventure. George was obsessed with invading Iraq way before 9/11.
Whatever his style, Bush's "substance" remains the same. There will be no reduction of troops in Iraq while George W. Bush is making the decisions.
Where are these additional troops going to come from? According to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, the U.S. Army is "nearly broken." How many tours of duty is a soldier able to bear? Two tours? Three tours? Ten tours? Already the suicide rate of troops serving in Iraq has doubled as have cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Aren't these recruitment incentives sensational?! Join George's war and have all you can be destroyed.
The All Volunteer Army is a great idea whose time is past. Don't count on it to supply enough troops for Empire building… or quelling the violence in Iraq. No amount of slick talk or advertising will induce volunteers to die for our lying, retarded cowboy president. It may work temporarily… but not forever.
This leaves one and only one alternative… conscription. As long as Bush insists on "victory," the draft, though we dare not call it such, must and will return. But fear not for your draft age children. The Bush brain depository will be sure to come up with kinder, gentler terminology for mandatory multiple tours of duty in Iraq. How about "Congratulatory Honor Service?" I can see the notice now. Congratulations! You have the honor of being selected to serve your Commander in Chief, George W. Bush in his new way forward to victory! In the noble words of Country Joe MacDonald: "Come on all of you young strong men, Uncle Sam needs your help again."
If only Philip Viscount Snowden were alive today. In his autobiography, Snowden writes that during the 1916 debates about conscription: "I even went so far as to suggest rather ironically to the House of Commons that recruiting had begun at the wrong end. As the old men had made the War they ought to be have been the first to be called upon to fight it…." Hey, that's a damned good idea!
How will the U.S. pay for all these new troops, their supplies, their rehabilitations and their burials? Good question. At the rate Congress and Bush are burning non-existent dollars the U.S. is broke.
The newly elected Democratic Congress has yet to be sworn in. Will Nancy Pelosi continue the GOP extravagance? If she does, many a wounded war veteran will be stranded without sufficient medical care. Generations of Americans will be taxed to death paying perpetual interest — never touching the principle — on Bush's monstrous debts.
Regarding Iran, Bush has yet to announce his decision. But I think you can guess this one too. Iran is next in the cross hairs. With some slick backstage shenanigans, the Bush/Cheney dictatorship may very well re-ignite the 1988 Iraq-Iran War all the better to launch Bill O'Reilly's cogent foreign policy plan to let the Sunni and the Shia simply kill each other off. Then The Empire can move in for the kill… uh, I mean oil. Should Iran fail to swallow the bait, well… another carrier strike group in the Persian Gulf ought to provide the necessary "muscle" to inflame more hatred and more insurgent mayhem. Around and around we go. Where we stop, nobody knows.
What a comforting thought it is to know that The Decider's iron resolve will keep us staying on the downwardly spiraling circular course… temporarily forever.
George knows why his party lost the November elections. He knows why the polls have turned against him. He is unpopular because he is losing the war, not because he told lies that have sunk the U.S. into an illegal and immoral Iraqi quagmire.
George thinks he knows how to turn all this around. He thinks he can win in Iraq simply by changing the slogan and placing 50,000 more young Americans in harm's way. He believes that all he needs is to do is modify the rhetoric.
Britain has taken the rhetorical lead. According to a British newspaper report, "Britain's Foreign Office is urging government officials to stop using the US term ‘war on terror' amid concerns it angers British Muslims and undermines government aims."
And so it is that the perfectly circular deranged logic of the White House will justify continued fighting of the "Global War on Terror" by instigating more global terror. That is "The New Way Forward." It has been decided… temporarily… forever.
Elizabeth Gyllensvard edited and contributed to this story.
December 25, 2006
Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Currently he resides somewhere in the Caribbean.
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