War Notes from the Darkest Corner of Texas

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