Thursday, June 14, 2007

Coming Soon: The National Blame Game

There is a not unfamiliar refrain in modern American political and historic discourse:
Did Truman lose Korea?

Did Kennedy lose Cuba?

Did Johnson lose Vietnam?
To which can now be added:
Did Bush lose Iraq?
The question is hardly worth asking because the answer is so obvious. So let’s move on to what really matters:
What repercussions will there be from the defeat of the mightiest military in the world at the hands of a bunch of rank amateurs in a disastrous conflict that has drained the U.S. of nearly 4,000 men and women and nearly 400 billion dollars that surely could have been put to better use?
There are two repercussions – both of enormous consequence:
First, the Iraq war has dealt a body blow to the Republican Party from which it will not soon recover.
What makes this smackdown so complete is that George Bush’s domestic policies also have been failures, for the most part reflective of his willingness to be prostituted to a right-wing Christianist agenda. This has left the GOP with nothing to fall back on except the hope that the feckless Democratic majority will shit in its own hat.
Second, there is the damage to the national psyche.
As I have written early and often, the recriminations that will reverberate from the Iraq debacle – which is a moral as well as a military disaster -- will make the post-Vietnam fallout seem like a pillow fight.

* * * * *
I am fond of so-called learning moments – opportunities to learn from failures and march boldly into the future.

As the largest field of presidential wannabes in memory yammers incessantly without really saying much of consequence, the body politic is in a collective funk, with an unhealthy majority stating that American is headed in the wrong direction. And yet notably disinterested in the right direction: A new foreign policy that decries unilateralism and isolationism but acknowledges America's place in the world, weaning the U.S. from its addiction to Middle Eastern oil or undoing the excesses of the Bush interregnum.

Eight years into a new millennium that began with such promise, a return to the “good old days” would seem to be a welcome palliative, as well as an escape from those repercussions.
But were the old days really that good?

Are you depressed about the state of America? I know that I am.

1 comment:

Charles Amico said...

Yes, extremely so. Heck, it was so bad that is what spurred me to Blog. When this mess is over and we have a President who isn't so stubborn and uneducated, I will wonder what to write about. Can't wait, Shaun!!!