It's What Bush Craves!
by Karen Kwiatkowski
We observe the modern American political theme — global democracy, global freedom, global security, global planning — from afar, as if on a big screen, framed and shaped for our consumption, neat.
Americans watch and wonder. George W. Bush speechwriters, neoconservatives and the odd state-worshipping evangelical — or do I repeat myself — nod encouragingly in our direction, in Paris Hilton-style and say, "Do you love it?"
Sadly, overwhelmingly, we do not.
The recent image of Paris Hilton curled, shaking and incoherent in a fetal position on the floor of an LA County jail may be more reality-based. Greed, incompetence, immorality and outsized egos leading justifiably to pain, confession, and reformation — my goodness, someone ought to make a movie about that!
But that's Hollywood.
In Washington, the script is simple, and life is good. Scooter Libby's commutation, paving the way for a full pardon to be passed at midnight of the last day of the Bush presidency, was quick in coming. Surely we wouldn't want to see Scooter curled up in some corner of his cell, shaking and repenting, suffering the snide remarks of his fellow liars and thieves.
Scripts help us understand complexities in human arrangements. A good story, on paper or on screen, takes what we know and grasp, and helps us see the next level, imagine new connections, imbue with grand meaning the previously mundane.
Our primary American script, for good or for evil, was that City on the Hill of our Puritan ancestors. But the script for the latter days of the Bush Administration is looking more and more like Mike Judge's Idiocracy.
I've mentioned this movie before, but increasingly it seems to truly explain and define the Bush presidency.
For those who haven't seen it, Idiocracy suggests a future animating force of American government and society. It isn't democracy, freedom, security or some sense of human order. It's Brawndo, a futuristic Gatorade, produced by the biggest company, biggest employer, biggest advertiser and biggest lobbyist in America.
The way people think about Brawndo is insane and hilarious, and all too typical. And "thinking" is not really the right word. Watch this Idiocracy clip of a presidential cabinet meeting, entitled "It's Got What Plants Crave."
Just as the New York Times public editor noted recently, there has been too little rational thought, and too much circular logic about our present day Brawndo, our government's preferred brand.
Al Qaeda is what Bush craves.
Al Qaeda doesn't have electrolytes, but it delivers the punch, it keeps it simple, and it keeps the printing presses and primary industries in America running.
Al Qaeda — not complicated civil wars or the reality of human suffering and rage, not human longing for autonomy and liberty and love and community — Al Qaeda is what Bush craves. Al Qaeda is what the U.S. government, taxpayer dependent industry and mainstream media need.
Thus, we are fed Al Qaeda, morning, noon and night. We consume it, over and over again, repeating the mantra.
The solution to Bush and Cheney, and our $12 billion a month wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may not be impeachment— although impeachment is certainly warranted. The solution to a warped national economy that depends heavily on overpriced, underneeded munitions and pharmaceuticals will not be found in polling and the ballot box — although this will help!
The solution is — as Idiocracy's Luke Wilson character suggests — is to try something different.
To treat the sickness of Dubya and Dick, stop drinking the Kool-aid. Trust me, it's easy. Ignore those media outlets that transmit his message — and that's pretty easy too. Media is business (even when corrupted by government linkages), and it will give us what we want to hear.
Stop buying the recycled BS and terror-filled Washington talking points, and they'll stop selling. Conservative TV and talk radio are already feeling the pain of a nation that disapproves of war and global intervention, wasted treasure and blood.
On Iraq and Afghanistan, try walking away. Quickly, like a puddle of water evaporating in the Mesopotamian sun. Don't worry that a well-dressed, finely fed and perfectly coiffed neocon in Washington will call you gutless.
If the global policing, base-building, corporate capitalists cry that if we leave now, even more innocent people will die, just remember that "more" is an awful big number. Americans have already killed a million Iraqis and Afghanis, and displaced nearly three million. And this doesn't count the 500,000 dead Iraqi children our government justified as "worth" a decade of economic sanctions.
Don't worry that a soldier will ask the impossible question of "If we leave now, why was I maimed, lied to, wasted, and made a murderer?" He'll ask anyway, and there is only one answer, an old and oft repeated answer, and it hurts. You chose to serve the state, and it sacrificed you for nothing.
The government war on terror, everywhere and all the time — captioned and captive by "Al Qaeda" — is what Bush craves. Like some futuristic Brawndo, it's killing our country, destroying our economy, and creating morally decrepit automatons where millions of free Americans might stand.
Over 70% of Americans oppose Bush, and his bloody cravings. Just in case we really are approaching idiocracy, that's plus or minus 200 million. 200 million people who do not support the policy of a dwindling few in Washington, in a republic, ought to mean something. Shouldn't it?
July 11, 2007
LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for MilitaryWeek.com, hosted the call-in radio show American Forum, and blogs occasionally for Huffingtonpost.com and Liberty and Power. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here.
Copyright © 2007 Karen Kwiatkowski