Such was the scene this weekend, as President Barack Obama enjoyed his star turn at the White House Correspondents Dinner, that sick-making orgy of cuddly collusion between the media and political elites. In recent years, the sycophantic shindig has turned into a veritable Oscars Night for the political set. (And increasingly the Hollywood set as well; one of the major stories of the big night was that Dinner guests Sean Penn and Scarlett Johansson were seen holding hands as they left one of the many glittering "after-parties" attached with the event! I mean, OMG! No wonder it got screaming headlines at HuffPo -- that bastion of hard-hitting progressive journalism.)
This was real leadership! This was the president striking back, taking it to his enemies at last, and, hey, having some fun with it too. Oh, what a tonic! What a hoot! What yocks! 2012? Bring it on!
But even as the media mavens and the glitterati and the fightin' progressive keyboarders were lapping up the imperial schtick, Libyans were digging the eviscerated bodies of three young children out of the ruins of the private home where they were killed by NATO missiles Saturday night. They were the grandchildren of Moamar Gadafy, who was the target of the attack, which also killed his youngest son. The dead children were all under the age of 12.
The missiles tore into a residential area of Tripoli, where the Gadafys were having a family gathering. NATO -- along with the nasty little upper class twit now in charge of the British government, David Cameron -- insisted that the Humanitarian Interventionists were not, repeat NOT, trying to kill Moamar Gadafy by sending three missiles into a house where they believed he was staying. No, no, no. That would be wrong; that would be totally outside the UN mandate governing the intervention. That would be attempted assassination and regime change. The good and godly lords of the West would never do anything like that.
It must be clear, for the murder of these children by NATO missiles has occasioned almost no protest -- indeed, hardly any mention -- across the political spectrum in the United States. The progressives are too busy yukking it up at their man's comic cool. The right-wing militarists are too busy applauding this attempt to "cut off the head of the snake." The "centrists" are too busy sleeping off their Correspondence Dinner hangovers.
And so the killing on the frontiers -- the ever-expanding line of imperial dominance -- will go on. But while the yuks and yocks of the courtiers' banquet keep ringing through the Beltway, you can be sure that the people being blown to bits on those imperial lines -- in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc. -- will not die laughing.
NOTE: After yesterday's post on the deadly incident, a reader kindly called to mind a previous piece -- originally written eight years ago -- that might have some relevance to these latest imperial juxtapositions:
While you were dreaming
While you wrapped your mind in silks
Bronze Steel Stone
Did their work
While you breathed the fumes
Of the oracle's fissure
Deranged the senses
Settled in soft beds
Sent agents into the streets
Hard men pinched men
Bronze Steel Stone
To eliminate execute
Discredit and destroy