See also Iraq: America seems determined to turn it into Viet Nam II, or, failing that, Israel II. Not the best role models, I’m afraid, but heaven forfend the President admit that he made a mistake. We’ll pursue this idiotic tough-guy foreign policy to the end, no matter how bitter the end is. Think about that: our leadership is willing to sacrifice hundreds more American lives, and who knows how many more Iraqi lives, rather than own up to the fact that he made a mistake. That much was clear in his joke of a ‘press conference’, when the question that stymied him the most was what his biggest mistake as president had been. Meanwhile, the ‘coalition of the willing’ is falling to pieces; even the pathetic horde of greedy and ambitious Second-World powers we bribed into acting as our Janissaries doesn’t much care for the ugly reality of postmodern colonialism. Pretty soon all that will be left is the U.K. and the U.S. – the old imperialists and the new – each one insisting they were right all along as the flag-draped coffins continue to fill up cargo planes. And beyond that: the Bush campaign tries desperately to impugn the military record of John Kerry, a twice-decorated, thrice-wounded war hero who risked his ass (literally) in Viet Nam while his opponent couldn’t even be bothered to show up for the dodge that was his National Guard service; revelations about an arguably treasonous deal with the Saudi government to back the war in Iraq barely seem to be causing a stir; and the Beria-like Condoleezza Rice, who no doubt watched the bombings in Spain with particularly keen interest, has been trotted out to warn the American people about terror attacks just prior to the elections.
Now, I have never been conspiratorially-minded. I’ve never bought into the idea that the Bush team knew 9.11 would happen ahead of time, or that they staged this or that terror attack, or any of that nonsense. But I’ll tell you this: I keep finding myself thinking of certain things, certain little nagging doubts, certain little bits of uncertainty and inconsistency. And I keep thinking about how history is riddled with governments engaging in fraud and deception in order to steer public opinion, from the Spanish-American War to the ‘attack’ on a German radio station by Poles that triggered the invasion of Poland by the Nazis, to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, to the bullshit story about Iraqis unplugging babies’ incubators in Kuwait, to the Anzar government swearing up and down that the Basques were responsible for 3/11. I think of all the lies and crimes that have been committed to drive a country to war or to turn public sentiment for or against this or that political figure. And I think about the 2000 election, and how it was de jure stolen by a GOP-friendly Supreme Court, and how ever since then we’ve been lectured to ‘get over it’, as if it was losing a sack race instead of seeing our country’s commitment to democracy completely subverted. And I think about how the Republican Party seems less and less interested in the whole notion of free and fair elections and the principles of democracy, either at home (see Florida, Texas and California) or abroad (see Iraq, Israel and Pakistan). And I think about how George W. Bush went out of his way to excoriate the Spanish electorate for daring to vote for the candidate they wanted and the policy he endorsed. And I think about these allegations – refuted in the least convincing way imaginable by the Bush team – that our leaders made a sweetheart deal with the Saudis to ensure that gas prices would be low just before the election. And I think about the chill that went down my spine when I heard Rice say in her measured, certain-as-death tones that we should all be prepared for the possibility of a major terrorist attack right before the elections. I think about all this stuff, and I wonder: how far is this government willing to go to make sure they win in November?