IPFS Mike Dugger

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More About: WAR: About that War

America’s Empirical Folly - from talking points to tipping points in the land of the free

It has long been my contention that there exists no problem or situation that is so bad that government can’t intervene to make it dramatically worse. The larger and more powerful the government, the more closely and tragically this truth applies. The current quagmire in the Middle East is a perfect illustration of this axiom for all but the most willfully blind to see.  

“I see the Sun settin’ over America,”

from Your Name On a Grain Of Rice by Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers  

The abject failure of America’s misadventure in Iraq has become unmistakable and polls show that the sleeping giant of American public opinion has finally awakened to the fact. But the hangover is terrible and all that the NeoCons, and their NeoLib brethren, have to offer is the hair of the dog – this time in Iran. What we really need is aspirin and a meaningful commitment to “never again.”  

Unfortunately, as usual, politics rules the day and neither faction of our ruling party has any intention of doing the right thing. The Republicans won’t admit that the hallmark of their administration has been an expensive and unmitigated disaster until after the 2008 elections, and the Democrats are more than happy to let them embrace their fetid tar baby until then. All the wrangling over timetables and such is mere window dressing by the loyal opposition to try and appear to be obeying the obvious mandate of the 2006 elections with no real intention of doing so. Sadly, no concern about the level of death or destruction seems to enter into the equation. Nor will it so long as the political status quo prevails. Thus is the sad state of our delightful “two-party” delusion.  

Now, after four years, would be a good time to ask ourselves a few pertinent questions. Are we better off now than four years ago? Are the Iraqis? Have the ranks of terrorists shrunk or grown? Has it all been worth over $400 billion and more than 3,000 American lives? Or more than 655,000 Iraqi lives? Will it be worth that much or more over the next four years? How much more will we pay for a war with Iran?  

The current state of affairs is truly depressing and it will undoubtedly become a great deal worse before it gets better. All the while we’ve been betrayed by the very institution that should have been countering this tragic folly by shedding light on it. Instead the main steam media have willingly become disseminators of Bush administration propaganda. From the lies that started the war, to the endless false claims of progress and mischaracterization of the insurgency, to the memory-holing of inconvenient truth – the major news organizations have proven themselves to be nothing more than the domestic propaganda arm of the invasion.  

That the main steam media have been so derelict in there duty will surely go down as one of the greatest crimes in American history. Those who have allowed themselves to be embedded, both literally and figuratively, in the invasion and occupation of Iraq should not escape their traitorous fate. May the lamp posts be tall and numerous, and the ropes just as numerous but a great deal shorter.  

When it’s all said and done, I hope that the empty edifices of the news media will be reoccupied by the productive class – preferably what has collectively come to be known as “the blogosphere.” It would be fitting that those who’ve been doing the job that the MSM has purposefully refused to do should be allowed to take their place physically as well. Happily, the trend appears to be in that direction, although I know that the displacement could never be that perfect. It will suffice when they’ve captured the eyes and the minds of the only edifices that really matter anyway.

“I ain’t never seen the end of no story ‘cause no story ever ends.”

from Loco to Stay Sane by Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers  

Of course, the transition is ongoing and life offers no guarantee of a happy ending. The only thing certain at this point is that we are in the throes of a painful transition. It can be likened to the birth of a new political and informational order. The diseased and sclerotic old institutions are dieing, as painful as that may be for some to accept – particularly to the legions that are dependent upon them. But vibrant new institutions are being born to replace them.  

It is up to us to embrace, nurture, and discipline them into the healthy, honest, and productive institutions a truly free society requires. Doing so will require each of us to strive to become the honest, thoughtful, and independent kind of people that make up a truly free society. At stake may be the very idea of Liberty itself. Is that not worth the effort?