Several Nasty and Thoroughly Childish Reasons to Enjoy the War on Terror
by americus, 17th January 2002.
In which the author, for his first real column, entirely ignores his column's stated function in the interests of schadenfreude.
3,000 people are dead, pulverized in that cowardly little ramming by theocratic thugs four months ago. And here I am presuming to find the light side, thanking God for the Fall of Man so we could have the Resurrection. I beg patience if you are offended. But a great many things in the public perception have changed, I think to the good, since those vicious drones assaulted our nation, and I find myself faced with the idea that 3,000 fellow citizens had to die before some of us could wake up and smell the stench of history. I must, then, make a choice: laugh or go mad.
Hence, the following reasons to kick back and smile while we exert our imperial will on the Arab world:
1. A Golden Opportunity to Figure Out What it is Exactly That The President Does. After eight years of William Jefferson Lothario Clinton, whose foreign policy could be summed up, charitably, as "Carter Lite" (heavily sprinkled with LBJs "bomb them till they like us"), its nice to let the American people watch a President who, behind closed doors at least, has some manner of clue. De Toqueville wrote that the American Constitution gave a President quasi-royal powers but little opportunity to use them. Nixon said that its impossible to get truly reforming legislation through Congress, the economy runs itself, so the Presidents really only got one area to look after. I, for one, take pleasure in watching liberals squirm to admit that theres a President here who can handle that aspect.
2. News Thats Actually New. And this thought has a brother: if the Presidents really only effective in terms of looking out for foreign threats, what about the rest of the government? Has anything truly groundbreaking come from Tom Daschle or Dick Armey lately? Be honest, do any of these clowns do anything other than spend money and warble "America the Beautiful" off-key when called upon?
What happened to the crisis that was our medical insurance industry? Whence the lock-boxes? Did enough money sprinkled down from the World Trade Center to take care of our budget problems? Is Chandra whats-her-name less dead than before?
Of course not. The only thing thats changed is now we actually have news on the national level that fits the cookie-cutter grandeur the media serves everything with.
3. The Ultimate Punishment for Metal Bands with Self-Important Names. Oh, it was too sweet for telling, listening to Ian Drury explain on VH1 that hed never believed that "Anthrax" was ever something that could actually make people sick. For decades upon decades people in the entertainment industry have been cashing in on un-enlightening portrayals of foulness and horror. Now, in the face of the real thing, we see these knobs for what they are: party boys with goofy haircuts and adequate musical talent. If we could just rename air crashes "Slipknots," all the bases would be covered.
4. Pacifists Are Endlessly Amusing. Even if one gets beyond the image "pacifist" conjures up: some tie-dyed, stringy-haired Ben & Jerrys clone finger-pointing about "cultural imperialism" (whatever that means) while thoughtfully strumming wimpy chords on a decrepit six-string, people who call themselves pacifists are always good for a laugh. The current endeavor in Afghanistan must have them in ecstasy: what more perfect chance to testify to their terrific goodness and wisdom than a murky war against third-world hooligans who really, really believe what theyre saying?
So we have pacifism, the preaching that no war is just, no enemy so contrary to ones interests or survival that to defend oneself against them by force is acceptable. We must never kill, and if we stop killing, then everyone will, because their icy hearts will melt, Grinchlike, and theyll carry the Christmas Presents of Peace down the Mountain of Pride and hand them out to all the Whos down in Earthville. Or something.
Im not sure if pacifists are really funny because their worldview is childish and silly, or because their expression of it is monotonous and condescending. I just know that I laugh when I make fun of them (Youre a foul oneMr. Grinch).
5. Its Nice to be Wrong About Our Military. I spent a fair bit of time as Election 2000 wound down offering as argument for my choice of a president that Al Gore would simply continue Clintons neglect of the U.S. Armed Forces. I warned all who would listen that its a very American habit to let the military rot like a Liberian freighter in time of peace, thus ensuring that when time of war rolls inevitably around again that we must pay our military re-education in mens lives and early defeats. I thought my argument well-grounded in historical analysis and anecdotal evidence from those familiar with the Clinton military.
Apparently I had my cranium rammed into my posterior. Our boys (and girls) had plenty of fight in em, and knew of how to apply said fight. The Taliban crumbled like a chateau of cards under the weight of our metal, and the only remaining question is not whether well catch Bin Laden whatever Asian or African Taliban he tries to hide behind but whether weve killed him yet. Call it the uncivilized, will-to-power part of my spirit speaking, but Sweet Fudge, its nice when were the Big Dog on the block.
In fairness to me, Afghanistan is not exactly in our weight class (though theyve managed to upset the Brits and Russians on more than one occasion), and our victory was dependent more on the persistent use of proven old technology (so whats the half-life of B-52s, anyhow?), than on anything we might have spent the last ten years developing, but what of that? We came, we saw, we conquered. So let the naughty little troll in your soul delight in the knowledge that these mindless, arrogant, God-defaming twerps are finally getting some idea of what it means to make war upon the children of the West.
Id go on, but you begin to perceive the drift. They say that, in war, innocence is always the first casualty, followed by truth. Well, innocence has been lost some time ago, especially according to the people who dont want this war to happen, but I think our enemys first shot took out a few dozen pockets of lies and wishful thinking along with our revered dead. I take small comfort in this, because the price is too high, and the staying power will likely not be great. But I will laugh.
Thank you, drive through