Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We petty men

Tomorrow is the Tin Anniversary of the Third Gulf War.

I wish I had something to post better than Charlie Pierce, but I don't. So I will merely direct you to his scathing reminder that we petty men will - now and forever - creep between the broken legs of the statue in Firdos Square and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves.

The war may have killed thousands but completely spared the lives and even the public careers of the wretched, greedy, cowardly liars that summoned it from the depths of the Eblis of national fear, violence, and hubris. And we have chosen to accept that without demur. That is our shame. That is our crime; not that we committed the wrong but that we did not punish it when we saw that it was wrong.

The persistence of these Tin Gods in the public life of our nation is, and should be, a great enduring unbearable shame to us, all of us, us the We the People who were entrusted with the honor and truth of this nation. We have chosen to be a nation of Men rather than a nation of Law, chosen comfortable dishonor above painful rectitude, chosen the deaths of others rather than to sacrifice ourselves.

When our generation is remembered it should be for that, and for that above all. Whatever good we have done, whatever kindnesses we may do, the crimes for which we hung the defeated leaders of Nazi Germany, the crime of making aggressive war, the "crimes against peace" of Nuremberg; the crimes of others that by our acceptance and indifference we have made our own, will remain with us always. Like the unquiet ghosts of the dead of Baghdad, Ramadi, and Basra, like the mournful fragments of the GIs flown home inside plastic sacks, and like the cries of the headscarved women, weeping for sons and fathers and lovers vanished in the morning mists that rise above the Tigris as the merciless dawn floods the watermeadows with light as red as blood.


  1. Amen, Brother.

  2. Rumsfield has a PR team still using Twitter?? What?

  3. Al: A friend of mine sent me that TruthDig link. Heartbreaking. It immediately made me want to snarl at Rummy what Pierce said about Perle and his smarmy willingness to send other people into harm's way and now bloviate about what a great fucking idea that was:

    "And precisely what risk did you "manage" ? What chance did you take? You gambled with other people's children in a game you'd helped rig. What cost was exacted from you, sitting your fat ass in a swivel chair at a wingnut intellectual chop-shop while kids are still staggering around the wards without legs and arms, or the cognitive functions to get them through the day? What price did you pay? You have to send out for lunch one day?

    Show me the butcher's bill for the Perle household, you vampire son of a bitch."

  4. We are petty, very much so. James Homes channeling Orwell said it best. In times like these: "Political factions garb themselves in lofty slogans while pursuing the basest of motives. Words mean their opposites. Prudence is cowardice, moderation effeminacy, indiscriminate violence manliness, treachery superior intelligence. Two plus two equals five!"

  5. The thing that makes this doubly infuriating is that it would be in our own best interests - as a nation and a people - to cauterize this infection. The disease - the ambitions of people like Wolfowitz, Perle, Dubya himself, Darth Cheney - is still unchecked throughout the body of our national discourse. Look at the same things that are being said about Iran; clear and present danger! Scary dictators! Must fight! Victory will be easy!

    So it's not just a case of admitting we were beaten; no nation, no society likes to admit that. But ignoring the lessons of history are as toxic as failing to heed the warnings of change; by refusing to acknowledge the harm these people did we set ourselves up for more harm. As Talleyrand would warn us: it is worse than a crime; it is a mistake.

    1. Chief, so long as these people have no true skin in the game, they will continue to advocate for death. Now, would they still do so if their kin were on the firing line? RP

  6. A slight difference of opinion, I'd say those individuals you listed are the symptoms of a fouler disease.

    The monied and political interests who fund and support the war propagandists for their various reasons are the root of our poblem. And that problem does not seem to have abated at all. As our president left for his visit to Israel, he uttered a warning to Iran to shape up or suffer the consequences.

    A re-run of the US v. Saddam's Iraq. From Clinton and Albright through Dubya's regime and now Obama.
    I feel dirty writing this, but here it is, in all its oily sliminess.


    One benefit of the past ten years, I just noticed a bit ago.

    Al Jazeera is entering the US market this summer.

    Watch "Control Room" and think of our US media during these past 10 years.


    And a bit of Michael Moore, if you're willing



  7. Chief,
    Why do you not include the Obama crowd in your list of miscreants?