...So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home...
Well, yeah, and obviously someone forgot to tell Mr. Herbert the idea after the Rumsfeld-Cheneyburton Show was to keep the Empire Invisible, which is why the racist Company allowed an African-American
The Medium Lobster has a much firmer grasp on the reality of the situation.
...Freedom! If there's one thing America loves, it's... well, war. But if there's two things America loves, it's war and torture. But if there's three things America loves, it's war, torture, and genocide. But if there are several dozen things America loves, they are war, torture, genocide, chattel slavery, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, assassination, poverty, institutionalized bribery, remote-controlled flying death robots and somewhere down the list, between prison labor and lagoons of toxic pig shit, there is almost certainly a special place in our national heart for freedom.
And so it is that the United States is fighting to free the Libyan people from the Libyan people by killing the Libyan people. The situation is fairly straightforward, after all - Libya faces a humanitarian crisis, and the only way to address a humanitarian crisis is to bomb it with hundreds of cruise missiles. I'm told that the Red Cross still delivers bottled water and medical supplies by duct-taping them to the nose cone of an outgoing Tomahawk. More importantly, the Libyan people are oppressed by a bloodthirsty dictator - a dictator who kills his own people - and the least we can do is kill those people ourselves. How, I ask, can we stand idly by and allow people to be slaughtered by a ruthless tyrant when we could be slaughtering them instead?
You may ask, what makes getting killed by the United States any better than getting killed by Qaddafi? Because we are America, killing for a great American cause, in the name of Americanness, and our murder victims, in their last moments, as their houses are burnt and their schools destroyed and their neighbors incinerated and their families turned into hamburger, will come to know our American values: of freedom, of liberty, of toxic pig shit...
But do not blame Bob Herbert for his failure to grasp the situation in a world where "1984" is regarded as an instruction manual for better government: he's not alone.
Some great comments to Herbert's swan song. I like this:
...this re-run of Iraq, now repeating in Libya as farce, and the whole tragedy of our broken energy politics, have had their surreal moments these past few days:
--the U.S.-armed Saudi army pouring across the border into neighboring Bahrain to protect the despotic “king” and scatter the Bahraini people who were peacefully demonstrating for freedom at Pearl Square just days before our military intervention to “protect freedom demonstrators” in Libya;
--our bosom friend and ally the dictator of Yemen ordering his sharpshooters posted on rooftops to massacre over 40 Yemini citizens demonstrating peacefully for freedom in front of his palace while we were running our spin-op about “protecting Libyan citizens from being massacred” by the Libyan dictator;
--Gen. Petraeus and Sec. of Defense Gates being caught by an NBC boom-microphone in their March 7th tarmac exchange: Petraeus “You going to launch some attacks on Libya or something?’’, Gates “Yeah, exactly.’’, back when Gates and Obama were denying any such intention;
--British Prime Minister David Cameron, famous so far for slashing the budget and his country’s social safety net, and sending hundreds of thousands more to the unemployment lines, suddenly finding lots of new money for a new war;
--President of the Republic Sarkozy rebounding so quickly, cannily staging photo-ops with Cameron and Clinton next to his presidential color guard, dressed in uniforms harking back to the era of Napoleon, just days after being shamed for offering military support to Tunisia’s dictator as he was stealing bars of gold from his central bank and fleeing the country in his private jet;
--savvy-sounding, empty-suit pundits at CNN and Fox News giving animated presentations, just like in the old days with Iraq, but now with more colorful, even wall-sized graphics, describing the latest military hardware on display over Libya, in reports again completely devoid of any information on the real nature of this war;
Pres. Obama and Energy Sec. Chu, and Interior Sec. Salazar were also busy providing us with comic relief this week:--you may recall how Pres. Obama slashed new construction credits for renewable energy projects in half this past fall (from $6 to $3 billion);
--for balance, this week he repeated his desire to triple federal credit guarantees for new nuclear plant construction (from $18.5 billion to $54.5 billion!) just as we were witnessing the disaster of multiple G.E.-designed nuclear reactors in Japan overheating, exploding, burning, and spewing out massive amounts of radioactive materials over the region (we’ve got some 23 of that model here in the U.S.);
--to round things out, the Obama administration this week first opened the door for 2.35 billion tons of new coal mining;
--then he signed off on 4 new deepwater oil drilling permits to multinational oil giants Shell and Exxon in Gulf of Mexico just two days before a report became public showing that the blowout preventers now in use are flawed and won't work in an emergency (like the one that resulted in the BP Gulf oil disaster).
Funny how history sometimes does seem to repeat itself as farce, isn't it?
Yes, Obi-Wan, the Farce will always be with you.