Boonespeak: A Word From the Foolish Is Still Ridiculous

Thanks to a member of the Air Force for enlightening me on the meaning of "deconflicted," as used by General Michael Hayden during last week’s U.S. senate hearing on his nomination for director of Central Intelligence — or DCI as Washington would have it.

Apparently, it is a term that originated in the Air Force and describes the resolution of a collision path between or among two or more aircraft. Changing the routes to avoid the collision is the way to "deconflict" the situation. So I hope the United States and Iran will soon be "deconflicted."

My thanks also to Paul Craig Roberts for his exposition on why the Bush gang and its neocon hordes are eager for a war with Iran. It inspired me to send that column to the New Hampshire Union Leader. I threw in a comment of my own, reminding the editor of the time, in the early stages of "Operation Watch Our Cakewalk" when he objected to one of my knocks on what he described as "an immensely popular president over an immensely popular war." My, how times have changed.

And is where I found Pat Boone described as a "Milquetoast Mussolini," by William Norman Grigg in an excellent commentary on the former rock ‘n’ roll singer, who may have exhausted his limited supply of wisdom half a century ago with a lyric like "Awopbopaloomopalabopbop!" For those who may have missed it, Boone has suggested that entertainers who bash the president and his warmaking in the Middle East may be aiding and abetting the terrorists.

Presidential politics has its entertainment value, but it is not always recognized as it should be. I wish one of the major TV networks had the temerity to introduce an address to the nation by this president with the narrative voice that intones, "Previously on "Lost!’…"

The Dixie Chicks have come back with a vengeance against "the prez" and the Yahoos who support him, ala Britney Spears, no matter what. The Chicks have been on "60 Minutes," which is almost an hour, as the president might say. They have been on the cover of Time magazine, on "Nightline" and on ABC’s "Good Morning, America." And lead singer Natalie Maines, who created such a furor a few years ago by telling an audience in London that she and her fellow Chicks were ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas (as are the Chicks), has made it clear she is done backing away from the controversy. In the immediate aftermath of the comment, Maines issued an apparently half-hearted apology, which she has now no doubt rescinded. Both musically and in the spoken word, she has made it clear she is definitely "Not Ready to Make Nice." Hell, she ain’t even willin’ to be "deconflicted."

"Conflicted" is how many Americans must feel who want to be loyal to their president and their government against the "bad guys" from central casting, those Arab terrorists. You can easily recognize the bad guys by their black hats or white turbans. The good guys, of course, wear white hats and may even ride a white horse named Regime Change. ("Hi Yo, Regime Change, away!") That is why a dwindling hard core will continue to support this administration if it should be proven beyond all doubt that all the key players have committed matricide. These are the "Kemosabe conservatives."

Really, you would have to conclude by now that the people still supporting Bush are even dumber than he is, or dumber than he appears to be. No president could be as dumb as Bush sounds. I always try to remember this sage advice from Bush ’43: "Don’t misunderestimate me."

Bush has the support of the "cap gun conservatives," those who are so deeply invested in the good guys/bad guys, white hat/black hat morality play that they can’t recognize what the white hats are doing. Send one of them an article about the children in Iraq who are suffering from Bush’s war of choice and you are to receive in reply an irrelevant flippancy about the Dixie Chicks — or Barbra Streisand or Jane Fonda, etc. Apparently, it is enough for these chowderheads that Bush has the right enemies.

One deep-thinking patriot of my acquaintance even wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper here in which he continually referred to this writer as Jane Fonda, presumably in reverse "drag." His diatribe was, of course, entirely unpersuasive. Most readers, I am confident, realize that any similarity between Ms. Fonda and me is superficial. For one thing, I was in Vietnam longer than she was.

I will, however, plead guilty if someone wants to accuse me of being a Susan Sarandon conservative. Sarandon, in a political advertisement that the Cable News Network declined to run in the patriotic fever leading up to Bush War II, raised the question all America and especially members of Congress should have been asking: "Before American boys start coming back from Baghdad in body bags," she said, "I want to know what Iraq has done to us."

That’s the question Bush and his neocon diehards still can’t answer. I don’t they’ve ever really tried. Maybe they’d rather just let Pat Boone speak for them.


Manchester, NH, resident Jack Kenny [send him mail] is a freelance writer.

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts