Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Whose surge is it anyway?

As George Bush announces a plan to escalate troop levels in Iraq, let’s all remember who put troops there in the first place – and who put those fools in a position to do so.

George Bush and the neocons launched this war. The Supreme Court of the United States launched George Bush and the neocons.

That aggregation of silly, shallow, thoughtless people – Supreme Court justices, Federalist Society fops, corporate robber barons, corrupt mainstream media flacks, and politicians on the take – stole the nation by stealing an election. Then they took the nation to war – and the world to the highly-profitable brink of World War Three.

These are wide-bottomed rich people. Gated community types. Most have never heard a shot fired in anger. The details of war – the numbers of killed and wounded, the prospect of their children actually having to fight and die in Iraq – don’t affect them or their thinking.

For them, the consequences of war, like Leona Helmsley’s fabled taxes, are for little people. Why should they (to paraphrase Barbara Bush the elder) waste their beautiful minds thinking about real death and suffering?

Better for them to talk in abstract terms and take the macro view. Will a surge of 20,000 troops do it? Or will we need 30,000? Should we plan on it taking a few months? Or is something more permanent in order?

Somewhere in America right now, are high school juniors and seniors who will die in Iraq at some point in the next two years. Future amputees and quadriplegics are hurrying around, being sixteen seventeen and eighteen year-olds.

That’s where this surge is going to come from. That, and troops who have been there through again – and again.

The recruiters are calling the high school kids. They’re using mailing lists that public schools have to provide to send direct mail pieces. They’re looking at their monthly quotas on their charts and wondering where they’ll come up with the bodies.

Meanwhile, the children of the privileged wander the halls of their private schools unphased. They will proceed from high school to college, and from college into some position in the sphere of their parent’s influence, where they will learn to discuss things like troop surges in the abstract, sans bullet holes, blood, quadriplegia, or any other qualm.

They will talk about what “we” ought to do in whatever in whatever situation the country is in then.

They will do so with the same comfortable certitude that their parents currently apply in Iraq:

“’We’ means your kid, not mine. My kid has other priorities.

“That said, don’t you think we ought to try a troop surge? We can’t let the terrorists win.”


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