Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Parade boy

Not sure how many people have read the Josh Marshall piece but I think he's on to a valid observation. As the deaths and mutilations go on and on and the constant destruction mutates into further levels of chaos, hate and criminality our perennial teenage president will still be pining for his ever elusive heroic status. In the end he'll never get to wear the white cowboy hat and he will never save the innocents - only destroy them through hubris, ignorance, incompetence and the cruelty of his very soul.
According to Secretary Chertoff, we're entering a new period of lurking terrorist danger this summer. In other words, a period of danger similar to every other summer since 2001 and like most periods of low popularity for the president and before elections as well. But perhaps it is a period of increased danger. It really well might be. We've known for some time a mix of sagging tide of the war in Afghanistan and the mounting impotence of the Musharraf regime in Pakistan has allowed jihadist groups a relative safe-haven in the lawless Pakistani borderlands like they have not had since prior to 9/11. And if they can train they can act.

People ask what we're doing in Iraq. And you can answer in a hundred ways and in a thousand shades of literalism to metaphor. But at some level we're in Iraq because President Bush wanted a parade. It's not hard to imagine how he must have imagined it. A withdrawal of most American troops from a staunchly allied pro-American Iraq. Waving flags. Heartfelt thanks and vindication for the president who had the guts and character to see it through.

And that's why we stay. Because somehow if he just keeps at it someday he might get his parade. Or rather if he just keeps us there forever he doesn't have to really deal wtih what a disaster he's created and fundamentally what a failure he is.

image: a real hero's welcome - Apollo11 crew

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