The tangible and the ephemeral
Jeebus. I can’t believe we’re still having this discussion.
The 101st Fighting Keyboarders™ would like us to believe that the American people were whipped into a war frenzy by the grand notion of bringing democracy to Iraq even if it was going to cost $300 billion (and counting), 1573 American lives (and counting), and thousands of other soldiers horribly injured or crippled, and that the WMD’s that were supposed to be there (but weren’t) were just a bonus like a prize in a Crackerjack box. Does anyone really believe that the NeoCons could have convinced anyone to attack Iraq without the trumped up WMD story with a side-order of vague Iraqi 9/11 complicity?
“Hey America. We’re going to deploy an overextended portion of our fighting forces to Iraq, supplemented by thousands of under-prepared National Guard troops that we will pull from their families and workaday lives, and then we’re going to spend $9 billion a month (with no idea for how long) to wage a war against a country that represents absolutely no threat to the United States because we’re all about freedom and democracy.”
As stupid as I think most Americans are (and that is pretty freaking stupid. I’m in marketing, remember…), even I don’t think the rubes would have fallen for that pitch. Face it. We’re selfish. We’re all about us and if it doesn’t put a new XBox in Cody & Dakota’s room or fill up the gas tank of our 12-mile a gallon TerraCrusher XLT, we don’t want any part of it. Freedom for the other guys? That’s their problem; when is X-Men III coming out? But threaten our “way of life” (which is more about a plentitude of internet porn, the ability to buy a 64 oz. BladderBuster™ of Mountain Dew for eighty-nine cents, and Calvin pissing-on-something car window stickers than it is about Jeffersonian democracy) and we’re shipping the few, the proud, the aren’t-a-legacy-at-Yale off to a country that most Americans couldn’t find on a map if you spotted them the continent. Hence we get overblown Think Tank crusades like the Domino Theory and now the War on Terror which has given cover to all kinds of anti-democratic hijinks that are just fine and dandy with a populace that has been driven so eye-rollingly panicky by the powers-that-wanna-stay-powerful that they can’t remember if they’re supposed to be mooing or bleating in fear.
Sure, give us a tragedy like the recent tidal wave or an occasional “We Are the World” moment and we’ll write a karma check for twenty bucks and it would have been more except the Dawson Creek Season Three DVD set just came out and that was the “really good” season, but grand philosophical crusades aren’t our cup of somebody else’s blood anymore.
And when someone does make a very real sacrifice, well, this is the kind of treatment they get from the war-fluffers.
Now go away. We’ve got cheap dreams to fulfill and unpleasant realities to ignore.