Monday, November 21, 2005

masters of war

there is a rat inside the washing machine. i was about to do some laundry when i saw its naked ratty long black tail come curling out of a little space near the top inside, between the washing basket and the body of the machine. i thought for a split second that it was a piece of rubber peeling away from the rim, until it waved around in the air and then slipped back into the crack. then i did the brave thing and shrieked like a girl.

but what the hell -- these last few days some way bigger rats have drawn some way bigger shrieks out of me. not of girly-fear but of full-on womanly rage. mostly i am no longer surprised by anything the ratpublican chicken hawks say or do, but that doesn't mean i am no longer pissed off about it. and something about the casual, smarmy way these ... people ... smear actual war heroes really makes me boil. like dick cheney vs. john mccain on torture. or like pennsylvania u.s rep. john murtha vs. ... well, a lot of people, everyone from white house press toadie scott mcclellan to secdef don rumsfeld.

i know we are in the all-fear-and-loathing/all-the-time mode, but i reserve the right to sputter that this is out of line. the war pigs and their cowed supporters make a broad caricature of murtha's resolution to congress, and then the self-satisfied squinty-eyed beast crows that no one in congress supports "murtha's resolution." they dare to call someone who stands up for the troops in a real way a coward, while they are the ones who are afraid -- of a real discussion about what are we winning there in iraq. and not this lip service of, it's a free country, so everyone has a right to their opinion, but i think murtha is wrong, next question.

let's talk. no, really talk. c'mon, dubya. c'mon, rummy. c'mon, uncle dick. is the cost worth it? u.s. military deaths in iraq are accelerating. and is the world -- are we -- really safer? how come more and more of the people are not on your side? they were on your side. now they are not. why not? don't you want to know? don't you ever think about? hmmm. i just think you don't want to share your ideas with the rest of us. yeah, we can't handle the truth.

rumsfeld said that murtha's call for immediate troop withdrawal isn't supported by a majority of congress. well, it sucks being ahead of your time. and the fate of the troops is on the minds of a lot of americans. (remember them? the folks you're supposed to be representing?) he and all of these oily administration types always start out with the ol' perfunctory acknowledgement that this is a free country and so it is "proper" for people to raise questions and have views. and then they go on to explain why those views are dangerous and why decent people wouldn't express them for fear of endangering our troops and america's position of strength in the world, especially to the terrorists. merely bringing up the issue of troop withdrawal -- though right and proper -- puts not only the troops' lives in danger but also our own right here at home.

but my favorite part was when rumsfeld scolded murtha et al. that words "have effects"! what, ya mean like the words the bush administration said about iraq having weapons of mass destruction it was about to unleash on us? and how it needed the power to deal with a growing threat the scope of which was only unfolding? yeah, how 'bout them words? what effects did they have?

they say it again and again: honor the troops. but murtha's views do not deserve serious consideration b/c they contradict the shiny happy official picture. so maybe it's ... honor the troops -- unless they speak against you. honor the troops, except those who have seen more than you and disagree with your alleged ability to assess what the military needs. honor the troops, except when disrespect is necessary to keep the country on message.

it's actually a familiar refrain. honor the troops, but don't give them the equipment they need to stay alive. honor the troops, but don't dare to reassess our position and tactics, and whether our troops increasingly are targets due to our (lack of) strategy. if there is a chance to get out of this mess before 30 years go by, we should figure it out. it's like, the light is just over there, and a lot of people have seen it, but yet we're still heading away from it. being led away from it, even. bob dylan said it much better, and more succinctly, than i ever could.

and these masters of war who are leading us not the right way, they call a man like murtha misguided. it is kind of funny that scott mcclellan chose to "smear" the marine vet by linking him to michael moore, but i guess that was the worst he could come up with. ah, faithful scott. again playing the rat, all the better for his travelin' boss to play the reasonable man (or not).

eh, but they are rats to a man; their disease manifests more and more each day. and although my short fuse, my hair trigger, sparks off with every passing outrage committed against the righteous -- many friends and neighbors have fallen victim to rants far more protracted and foamy than this one -- in the long term i revel in the rats' reveal. we just gotta yank them into the light before their naked little tails withdraw back out of sight.

1 comment:

Tina said...

Wow! As usual, you say exactly what I feel in a much better way than I could ever think of saying it. In my time without internet, I acutally forgot what a joy it is to read what you write.

As for what you said, "Go, Natalie!" I all but sputter in rage all the time at the way the words I use to define myself are usurped and subverted and twisted into meanings they never had. First it was "feminist" and then it was "liberal"--two words that, seperately, brand you as someone barely worthy of a gutter. Together, they now brand you as a man-hating, child-killing dyke that wants to ban marriage, religion, and any form of family that doesn't include same-sex partners at some level. As for "Support Our Troops", it has become the catchphrase of those who have imbued it with connontations that I loath. "Support Our Troops" = You only really support our troops if you follow Dubya's policies blindly and agree that the Iraqi War was and is valid and vital and turn a blind eye to torture and the gradual erosion of all the freedoms we're supposedly fighting for. Since I happen to think that supporting our troops includes supporting their right not to be maimed and/or killed in a baseless war run by incompetents, I'm not allowed to voice the sentiment. (I also support the troops right to a living wage that houses and feeds their families so that they don't have to be on food stamps or WIC. I support their right to the medical benefits they were promised, too. No one wants to talk about that form of "support", however.)

I agree with your assessment of those that smear true war heros and former prisoners of war. They are rats--vermin that attempt spread their particular brand of plague to anyone within range of their voice. They are cowards and liars and the fact that we pay the salaries that give them the opportunity to be rats sicken me.


Off to read more of your posts (or to bed--I'm really sleepy).