Tonight On Fox: When Democracies Attack
the president chooses to liberate Iraq, then, in the words of those
road signs that soothe the savage tongue of every tax-paying interstate
traveler, I would like to see my tax dollars at work. Show me cords
upon cords of corpses, set for dramatic effect, if possible, against
burning oilfields to emphasize the enemyís turpitude.
I know some of you fellows at the Weekly Standard and Fox
News will balk at first. Youíll say itís a terrible idea. Youíll
call it pacifist subversion, like those photos
of napalmed kids in Vietnam. But you should heed the spirit of your
benefactor. What would Rupert
Murdoch do? He would give his public what it wants, by God,
and heíd throw in a little lagniappe
besides. After the bombing and the door-to-door subjugation of Baghdad,
how about Iraqi POWs in a
cage match with a rhinoceros? This is no time to start overestimating
the intelligence of the American people! Donít you know thereís
a war on?
warned, the Internet cranks will trot out the specter of William
Randolph Hearst. Hah! Hearst couldnít cut it by todayís standards,
thanks in large part to your bossís innovations. Show Joe Peoria
a sea of dead Islamofascists with commentary by the pulchritudinous
Dhue, and heíll quit flipping channels for damn sure. Give him
something he can pledge allegiance to, and watch his worries evaporate
faster than his retirement fund. A little spritz of carnage at the
end of the day helps relieve the tedium of peace and comfort.
take a trip down the furrow between the lower and middle brow, the
great hatchery of ennui. Here dwell the citizens of Godís chosen
political arrangement, democracy. Joe Peoria learned in school that
democracy is the best form of government, because the benighted
folks in Russia didnít have it. His teachers never told him that
his counterparts in the old U.S.S.R. had one luxury we lack. They
had no illusions about their ability to choose their countryís leadership,
and thus felt no culpability for their governmentís policies in
Hungary, Poland, East Germany, or (ahem!) Afghanistan. So, the nominal
Commie, the average Boris, could feel sorrow for his governmentís
victims, but he was not inclined to feel any guilt over them. The
guiltless have no need to rationalize. We Americans, on the other
hand, pick not only our president, but also the Secretary of State,
director of the CIA, ambassador to Yemen, and so on down the line.
(You remember those titles on the ballot, right?) Citizens in a
democracy know that each vote counts, that voting implies consent,
that not voting implies consent, and that our leaders are really
an extension of ourselves. Their policies are our policies. Thus,
like credulous democrats everywhere, the good American needs to
rationalize his governmentís actions, lest he reckon himself a thief
and a murderer. Hence the appeal of Fox News. Why would Bill OíReilly
badger a revisionist (scroll
down on this link) who claims that the
bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unjustified? Because
OíReilly recognizes that what Joe Peoria craves in patriotism is,
in large part, simply a heady dose of absolution.
isnít failsafe, of course. Bad thoughts ambush him when he least
expects them. One night while watching Cops,
he might question the desirability of a world remade in that image.
He could be enjoying Joe Millionaire
when an errant neuron recoils at the tawdry Murdoch philosophy.
Some strange evening during the OíReilly Factor, he may ask whether
the militant host has ever donned combat fatigues. His curiosity
awoken by another paean to the Good War in Mr. Kristolís mag, Joe
might stumble across a book by John
T. Flynn, Robert
Stinnett, or Charles
Beard at the local library. Dangerous things can happen when
Joeís mind wanders. Why run the risk?
we know that Fox has pull with this administration. All Joe and
I are asking for is full, 24-hour access to the good stuff: Gulf
War II Uncut. Since his and my paychecks are on the mandatory government
weight-loss program, we deserve to see what weíre paying for. We
got stiffed the last time around, what with those grainy aerial
shots of "the
luckiest man in Iraq." Show us the unlucky ones, up close
and in color. Granted, there is a slight chance that it might backfire
and hurt the war effort, but you shouldnít worry too much about
that. The Aussie wonder didnít get rich betting on the decency of
the American people.
Barganier [send him mail]
is currently guilty of pedagogy in Baton Rouge, LA. Following the
logic of those drugs
= terrorism spots, his enthusiasm for The Simpsons is tacit
support for all things Murdoch.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com