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Dick Cheney's 40-Year Plan

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Of all the eyebrow-raising statements that have gushed forth from Administration officials over the past week, there's one which stands out to me as the most telling and terrifying of all. Not surprisingly, it's also the one that seems to be receiving the least national attention. Mind you, there really have been a lot to choose from. Mr. Bush ran the gamut from dictatorial to comical, beginning with "I've made my decision...we're going forward" in pre-emptive defiance of a Congress resistant to his latest Iraq victory plan, and ending with a mind-boggling reference to himself as "Educator In Chief." The Vice President chimed in with the inane "You cannot run a war by committee," dismissing, I suppose, the historical and Constitutional role of the House, the Senate, the Pentagon, and a myriad of other advisers in conducting any American military adventure. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley scored big with "I think once they get in harm's way, Congress's tradition is to support those troops," a shockingly blatant demonstration of the Administration's willingness to gamble our soldiers' lives in a game of "chicken" with the Legislature. And, of course, Condi. There was her sly, savvy, ultra-feminist depiction of Bush's futile troop escalation as an "augmentation" (I mean, c'mon - what's the only other thing in our mammary-obsessed, junior-high mindset, Red White and Blue culture that you'd ever hear described with the word "augmentation"? Why Dr. Rice, you devil. You GO, grrrrrrrrrrl!). Even more important was the good Doctor's claim (lost in the ginned-up brouhaha over Barbara Boxer's lack of social graces) that casualty estimates "are not possible" for her boss' little "augmentation" strategy, when, in fact, those very estimates had been delivered to the White House two days before her testimony - and they are chilling indeed. (By the way, maybe it's just me, but when is someone in this Administration going to be held accountable for lying under oath to Congress? Sheesh!) And yet, with such a rich variety of blather from which to choose, the "Most Overlooked Threat To Our Future" award simply has to go to Mr. Cheney, who stated matter-of-factly on Sunday,
This is an existential conflict. It is the kind of conflict that's going to drive our policy and our government for the next 20 or 30 or 40 years. We have to prevail and we have to have the stomach for the fight long term.
Wow. Is it just me? Or has a member of this Administration finally been crystal clear as to just exactly what kind of a future Conservatives envision for us, our children, and our children's children? Make no mistake. I'm not contending that the VP is wrong in implying that "terrorism" will be an ongoing problem in our world - just as it already has been for hundreds of years. Terrorism will exist as long as there is one fanatic left on the planet with an exaggerated grudge, a death wish, and a box of explosives. And, yes, there has to be an ongoing and evolving plan to confront that danger, in much the same way we as a species must, unfortunately, combat lesser crime generation after generation. Adaptively. Intelligently. Proportionally. And with the realistic goal of reducing it to the rare exception, rather than the increasing norm. But Cheney's pronouncement is not about proportional response, or multi-faceted investigative techniques, or informed analysis, or surgical special-ops. His blunt pledge to America and the world is one of decades of invasion and war and occupation, global saber rattling and disdain for diplomacy, domestic fearmongering, state-sanctioned torture and indefinite detention, massive armies deployed on a whim to bleed and die for vainglorious "causes" or "callings," all to feed the military-industrial beast to which this Administration has ceded control of our democracy. I don't know about you, but I find that more than a little bit frightening. Not to mention, a tad more newsworthy than the results of the Golden Globes. It seems like a distant memory, but in November of 2005, the President unveiled a "Plan For Victory" that communicated this same apocalyptic vision in somewhat more subtle terms. As I wrote then in reaction to the speech:
The thing that threw me deeper and deeper into a funk with each twitch of the President's lips was the horrifying confirmation of his true vision for the world's future. I realized with greater clarity than ever before that his is not a dream of global peace achieved through diplomacy, brotherhood, education, scientific development, tolerance, inclusiveness, honesty, accountability, intelligence, compassion, or even simple planning. His dream is of a world at war.
Mr. Cheney's declaration on Sunday leaves no doubt that this NeoCon dream is very much alive today. I'd thought that this past November the majority of voters had finally done something about preventing that vision from becoming a horrific reality. But it couldn't be more obvious that the Bush Administration has no intention of listening to anyone now, least of all the American voter, and that with nothing to lose at the polls, it will spend the next two years laying the groundwork for its glorious, 40-year war in the Middle East. Sorry, but that's not the future I want to bequeath to my sons and daughters - nor is it the sole (or smartest) option available to us in combating the still-realistic threat of international terrorism. If we must "brace ourselves" for any battle, it should be for the one against the true threat to a peaceful future - those fanatics that currently occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
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After 25 years as a Post-Production Specialist in the greater New York/New Jersey area, Bob recently relocated to Orlando to continue his editorial business and begin Art Directing high-end commemorative magazines. He's been extensively involved (more...)
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