A German friend commented a while back that she finds Americans "bubbly." And what a bubbly spectacle that chamber was today. I watched the President give his State of the Union address and I murmured that surely this congress should be able to bring itself --just once a year-- to exhibit a measure of gravitas when required.
I mean, such torturous burden must be the business of spreading Liberty and Freedom and the ever expansive toll in blood tear and treasure! The notable exception to the antics of the buffoonish bubble, of course, the profoundly poignant interaction between the fallen soldier's mother and that terrorized father-less Iraqi.
And the ghoulish pledge to "add to the story" even while promising happy retirement and health.
Here is an idea from our outpost of tyranny. If, as the argument goes, what's left of the Western Civilization faces such urgent existential threat that truly necessitate myriad sustained, massive military expeditions in lands so far away plus unprecedented social engineering schemes in alien cultures, why not enlist millions of citizens to help counter the threat at home as part timers and then give them all health insurance charged to the Homeland Security accounts.
Beats all the effort to pass a constitutional amendment to protect the "sanctity of marriage," which, as some claim, might in due time translate into the "evangelical prayers for a healthier nation that requires no medical treatment for the uninsured."
That's what is being done here, you see. The civil defense volunteers are to be fully covered by the social security services. Details to be worked out.
Always symmetry in enmity.
The part about Egypt leading the charge brigade and the Saudis allowing more breathing room for citizens, I thought, shrewd repositioning. I have never been one to critique the Bush team for the hypocrisy exhibited in their approach to freedom with all the free passes and all allocated to the dumb tyrants.
It is important, I think, to uphold the values themselves however inadequate the actual policies are in their implementation or however, for that matter, inconsistent.
I do hope though that at some point the speechwriters could sit down and evaluate the fiddle faddle about Iraq and Afghanistan inspiring us in Tehran and Damascus.
Seriously when you think about it, if the experience of South East Asia, Europe, Eastern Europe, America, Latin America, South America, etc., haven't resulted in consequential changes, what makes anyone think that the blood drenched experiences of our neighbors would have an impact?
Or should we understand the following message implied: "they" are nothing like
"us" let's give them something "they" can wrap their minds around. Since obviously "we" are simply too especially exceptional to grasp! (the Jocular Cheese argument)
The ultimate question for me, the real puzzle of the Mesopotamian Expedition, remains what goes on in the "home front."
Why, why, why, I have repeatedly asked myself for three years now, are Americans not being asked to alter their routine if this threat is deemed so exigent? Why aren't Americans asked to participate in forms more engaged than offering their unswerving loyalty to what the President and his team decide to say or do on any given day?
Why only insist on transforming citizens into simple cheerleaders for the executive branch while the brunt of the sacrifices fall on the men and women in uniform along with those unfortunate souls in any presidentially anointed enemy state?
Aren't we all, supposedly, in this together?
From the very beginning, the pitch has been: this threat is so serious that it requires suspending most of the traditional checks and balances on the presidential powers, suspending the domestic civil liberties to an unprecedented degree; establishing secret mobile gulags and torturing shamelessly, demanding preposterous sacrifices from the part time soldiers of the Guards unit; and naturally, tolerating all the murder, mayhem, pain and sufferings expected from the wretchedly oppressed and yet, the majority of the U.S. citizens are expected to simply go on with their lives driving gas guzzlers to the nearest mall and shopping till they drop or else the " terrorists will have won."
Just so long as no one gets on the way or asks annoying questions.
The reaction the Dutch affair elicited in America did much to clarify the issues for
me. The answer to the riddle appears not so much through Strauss as Carl Schmitt. Could you imagine pursuing such ambitiously grand geopolitical objectives without in someway taming the hair curling murderous impulses of the Jacksonian America?
Thus, I think Bush team inordinately prudent in ornamenting its rhetoric with melodramatic embellishments although few outside the U.S. appear persuaded. To do otherwise would run the risk of having the sort of clamor that might leave nothing worth designating a new American century.
And so the song and dance promises more drama. The Pax Americana vs. Pox Shi'iana next. The riddle: whether or not enough Iranians can be persuaded to kiss the posterior attached, via gut and midriff, to the hand that promises that penicillin of the innumerable side effects.