Sunday, February 17, 2008

Our American armchair warriors are protecting us from the Greatest Threat Ever

Did you know that the non-military armchair warriors of the National Review Online and the NeoCons are (rhetorically) defending the "the Greatest Country ever to exist on the Earth in all of human history?" from "the greatest Enemy that exists on the planet, the most cunning and nefarious and evil force the world has ever seen -- not just now, but for all of human history."

Glenn Greenwald points to the superior rhetoricians of the American right-wing who man the barricades at a great distance from any real fighting when most Americans are, according to Mark Steyn, "... too weak, too brittle, just not up to the task of bearing the heavy burden of prosecuting the war against the omnipotent jihadi super-villains."

Glenn has it right. These faux-warriors are playing out their fantasies in lurid language at a great distance from any real fighting, so of course they are the true descendants of Winston Churchill. They fight our wars for us at a great distance from any real danger, living vicariously much like teenagers who vanquish dragons in computer games. Only the Faux-warriors want to be given real medals and real respect for their ability to throw super-words at the greatest enemies of all times (until the game shuts down and a new one is started.)

Unfortunately, these faux-warriors are led by their faux-warrior in chief who "had other priorities" rather than going to Vietnam but now resides in the Office of the Vice President sending real soldiers to fight the fantasy wars that make him feel alive.

Dick Cheney has had four heart attacks. It is unlikely that he would be alive today if he didn't have a full-time doctor following him around everywhere he goes. He has a very good reason to fear death, since he cheats it every day merely by waking up, and he has done so for close to a decade now. I'm sure that reading and listening to the lurid rhetoric from the right-wing faux warrior writers makes him feel alive, and feel that his continued life still has some meaning.

So what do the faux-warrior writers get out of the deal? First, they don't have to actually go to Iraq and get shot at, but they get to pretend that they are fighting the greatest battle of all time. [We used to have a word for people like this during the Vietnam War. REMFs. Rear Echelon Mother Fuckers. But at least those REMFs put on the uniform and traveled to where they could get shot at.]

But what else do the faux-warriors get out of the deal? Glenn quotes from Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations:
In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies . . . .

They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war.
These faux-warriors are the kinds of people who called for the idiotic invasion of Iraq in the first place, and who now want the war to continue. Their purpose is not victory, something they neither define nor understand. Their purpose is the rush of vicarious thrill they get from writing about the war in their purple prose, much like the rush that a sports fan gets when he watch a touchdown by whichever sports team he has adopted so that he can feel somehow involved in a sport he doesn't play.

The faux-warriors ignore any hint of reality and of real motives and purposes. The thrill is in the Great Battle for All Mankind. They refuse to inquire into what is really happening in the deserts where frightened people are actually fighting, killing, raping and dying. In their ignorance of reality the faux-warriors are supremely unsuited for any role in deciding what to do with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the troubles that are growing in Pakistan (among others.) To the extent that they are taken seriously, they make things worse rather than better.

The faux-warriors shouldn't be writing material to be taken seriously by the real warriors who fight these wars and who have to deal with reality. Instead the faux warriors need to be taken to quiet rooms by themselves and given keepers while they meditate on what there is in their personal lived they are working so hard to avoid confronting.

In the meantime, the adults need to be called in to clean up the mess these ignorant and obsessed children have created.

That's part of the change the American public is looking for this year.

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