Sunday, July 8, 2007

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

After enabling the administration in its pursuit of a war of adventure, the New York Times issued a lengthy editorial this morning urging a complete pull-out of our troops and accusing Bush and Cheney specifically of "demagoguery."

Unfortunately, the editors leave out a couple of important points:

  • In discussing the "human crisis" and the thousands of Iraqis who have fled the violence, they fail to mention the 650,000 Iraqi civilians who could not flee because the violence got them first.

  • They also fail to mention their own complicity in the tragedy. Obviously, the editors think that their mea culpa issued in May 2004 suffices. How about decking out the editorial offices in sackcloth and sprinkling them with NYT ashes?
  • In spite of their wordiness, the editors still don't get it, as their "bottom line" demonstrates: "The bottom line: the Pentagon needs enough force to stage effective raids and airstrikes against terrorist forces in Iraq, but not enough to resume large-scale combat." ... Raids and airstrikes from the safe vantage point of Kurdish territory. (And the editors disingenuously suggest that we could negotiate with the Kurds for the right to keep bases on their soil. But...don't the Kurds belong to the liberated country of Iraq? So why wouldn't we negociate with the Baghdad government that we established at so high a cost in dollars and lives?) "Raids and airstrikes"...so that we can keep adding to the 650,000 figure.
  • "One of the trickiest tasks will be avoiding excessive meddling in Iraq by its neighbors..." That's a good one. How about by us???
Thus does the newspaper of record finally call for an end to the war in sheep's clothing
the war in the name of Iraqi freedom
the war to topple a torturer
the war that made us torturers
the war that wasn't about oil
the war that was about what Christopher Hitchen's called "a bonanza for everybody."

Strange how
an old hymn rings in my head this morning...

Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.
Old now is earth, and none may count her days.
Yet thou, her child, whose head is crowned with flame,
Still wilt not hear thine inner God proclaim,
“Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.”

Earth might be fair, and all men glad and wise.
Age after age their tragic empires rise,
Built while they dream, and in that dreaming weep:
Would man but wake from out his haunted sleep,
Earth might be fair and all men glad and wise.

Earth shall be fair, and all her people one:
Nor till that hour shall God’s whole will be done.
Now, even now, once more from earth to sky,
Peals forth in joy man’s old undaunted cry—
“Earth shall be fair, and all her folk be one!”

(The Mae West character sings it better in Godspell.)

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