(Article changed on September 6, 2013 at 00:30)
Rare are the moments when hard-bitten pundits kneel in prayer, paying homage to the imminent wonder upon us. What was unimaginable a month ago, without serial foreign muggings against the homeland, has come to pass. We bask for a moment as these United States are more unified on anything since, let's see, yes, Dubya's dragged himself into exile and obscurity.
A predicted House rejection of the Obombardier would be historic, signifying oft-ignored voters acting together against the planet's most menacing, powerful gang, bristling with unstoppable military powers, both top party establishments, and hefty media domination. What underlies the marvel is all this unity comes about without any knee-jerk patriotic rage ready to punish rogue terrorists. Since any sort of actual democratic, peace-endorsing triumphs are rarer than winning wars, this is news.
Let us thus give the devil his due, though General Obama took five hard years to erase the simplistic national color war on which Bush-Cheney-Rove feasted. However unclear are core motivations, Obama alone has successfully blurred seemingly imperishable chasms between blue states and red. Remarkably this groundswell anti-war insurgency merges goofy Tea Party libertarians, centrist/liberal Democrats, and other rational adults not suckered by what is, admittedly, a dismal shadow of meaty Rove propaganda. Who would have thunk it?
Hallelujah and hosannas, for God works in such mysterious ways! And the next wondrous aspect is that unity comes so far with zero bloodshed, no stomping imperial boots, and no expense of cruise missile billions in a waste of shame. Still Obama may stick to his threat, scorning the will of the people, but that shreds approval ratings falling by the week. No-drama Obama would be recast with "Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead" roguery, a lurch this change-artist can't survive. If marshaling support for an attack appears beyond his ken, whither altered personality?
Once-a-Century Still Counts
Who would have guessed, after this week's hawkish Senate committee vote, Huffington Post headlines War Vote in Deep Trouble. Congressional defiance of any presidential belligerence is a once-a-century phenomenon, even in theory a blow to our unchecked, global expansion. Who anticipated a limit to our bullying, nor a way to preserve what's left of our reputation? Behold a third ripple: were that greater than 50% of us obeyed when yelling "No More War," we'd be justified in rushing onto the streets, celebrating with Lincoln that majority rule has not wholly perished from this earth.
And more: might the benighted mob not finally begin to learn the lesson, unheeded by the Afghan surge or Iraqi debacle, that the greatest enemy to our national security, if not world peace, is US, yes, the U.S.? Oh, my. What a valuable insight for a critical mass to get that Syrian thugs, though thick as thieves, aren't the world's dire threats. Could a million or two realize that no power on earth can stop other people, dying to kill each other, from doing just that? Whatever we do.
Here, out in the open, is the unholy alliance: moralizing White House chicken hawks in cahoots with the pro-Israeli Republican top brass and the intact, pro-war faction of McCain militarists. What people in power haven't learned from Iraq could fill countless books. Item: not only is the U.S. a miserable nation-builder (nothing compared to our destructive power), but we're even worse when "moral outrage" drives us to impose our will on resistant cultures. And the worst ploy is Dubya's Delusion: that our degraded republican system fits perfectly populations who don't know democracy from camel dung (no disrespect to camel herders).
What a noble battle on tap now, one for the ages. People against a deluded, war-mad elite allied for a all sorts of inhumane reasons. Call your Congressperson so they speak for the majority and stand arm in arm against Obama, who either: 1) got stuck with a red line foot in his mouth; 2) had delusions of grandeur as a recharged war president; 3) rushed into the bombing fray without getting close to enough ducks in a row, domestic or international; and 4) badly erred by not remembering, when you're up to your ass in alligators, your original intention was to drain the swamp. Is there any doubt that the wrong weapons, dropped on a hornets' nest, will sting everyone?
Better Late than Never
I for one forgive the president for taking so long to reduce even one red-blue schism. Even if lasting weeks or a month, any peace that heals a national schism could have legs and be repeated. Not that an equivalent blessing would be worth firing rockets into the chaotic, civilian Syrian landscape, but let's accept progress in baby steps. Anything that stops the inexorable American war machine is worth rebel yells, Tea Party roars or liberal hurrahs. Strange bedfellows, not to be kicked out.
And America will not only have stopped one strike and a few hundred killings. Two Yankee boots in the tent, we know what unfolds. Send in the bombs, and soon we send in the clowns called "military advisers" who talk (dubiously) about "advanced battlefield intelligence." And then, when vulnerable heroes are blasted to kingdom come, will the commander-in-chief wait a Washington second before shipping in Special Forces, Marines, the Army, and Air Force?
Finally, one final implication, courtesy of the Iraqi hangover, I can't resist. While Dubya and crew lied all day and all night before invading Iraq (and afterwards), they told this truth: they'd take out a growing, defiant dictator. However weak the reasoning, Saddam was named enemy-in-chief and that costly mission was accomplished. What's the Obombardier's objective today or three days after the bombing? Obama the Oblique, with more moral outrage than forethought, cannot 1) think anything less than occupation stops atrocities, and 2) thus, logically there must be hidden, rippling agendas, whoever is hatching, whatever the nefarious plots.
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