Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Now we have North Korea, charter member of the Axis of Evil and the latest troublesome arranged marriage between military power and dubious economic system, rattling its nuclear saber at what it perceives as the threat of American imperialist hegemony.
Am I the only one who feels a little panicky to hear our president addressing this issue, who feels that he is almost comically unequal to this challenge? Out spits the usual testy, mispronounced boilerplate, schoolboy platitudes written for him by someone who understands the man's limitations. Usually I don't feel despondent so much as angry and disgusted; much of what he's done can, with some effort, be undone (albeit with an admittedly toxic vapor trail behind him).
But not everything can be undone. Iraq certainly, and Afghanistan probably, are turning out to be the quagmires that many wise voices said all along they would be. Trillion dollar quagmires (imagine what that money could have accomplished when smartly applied). Iran is like a hand grenade, pin pulled, rolling at our feet. Whole countries--some of them longtime friends and allies--now view the government of America with extreme skepticism, if not active malevolence.
Into our Macy's parade of corruption and hubris wanders Kim Jong-il. Here we have an incendiary situation, one calling for finesse and strength and leadership, for alliance-building and compromise and vision. And to answer the threat we offer... the diplomatic equivalent of that typing chimpanzee placed at the Big Console and the fervent hope that, given enough time, he'll randomly hammer out world peace. W. plays Whack-A-Mole. I can hardly fathom someone less equipped to face these problems, or worse, someone more apt to navigate us via the shortest route to the jagged rocks which will be our undoing. Iraq, too, began with the talk which we see currently in the U.N., which we inexplicably gave the premature stiff-arm and proceeded to go it alone--with the result now acknowledged to be an increase in terrorist activity and hatred of our country and its citizens.
All that our country represents to its citizens and to freedom-loving people around the world tries to find focus, like sunlight through a looking glass, in this most unworthy vessel, a man without poise or dignity, without statesmanship or education, without resume or good intentions. This effluent flows down from above to cover the whole Chamber of Horrors that rode into town with him. As I watch the curious circling of wagons about Mark Foley, a circumstance at least three times as odious as that for which these same people insisted on Clinton's impeachment, it comes to me like the Virgin Mary taking form on my pancake griddle: look not, ye huddled masses, for any focused light from this vessle. This glass is not a telescope to see the stars but a cataract which keeps us from seeing the truth: this president is an epic idiot, a man whose legacy will be a Katrina-like devastation from which we will spend our lives trying to dig out.
If we're lucky.