Friday, April 09, 2004

so yesterday morning a few coworkers and i packed up materials in the conference room at work and had the condi hearings on. i can't decide if she's the sacrificial lamb or not. i don't fault the bush administration too much for 9/11 happening. i do fault them for giving a few million in aid to the taliban in august of 2001, but that's a different story.

one thing that bugged me about the way condi responded to questions was that she got this smirk on her face when saying things like, "you would think that we would have learned the lesson to not ignore growing threats to our security from this," clearly implying that people who were against going into iraq were complete morons: all you need to do is look at 9/11 for a reason why we're there. right. i hate the smirks of the bush administration, all of them. and i'm frusterated by the obvious duplicity of such a statement: even bob woodward's how-to-worship-w-in-5-steps piece, bush at war, detailed that paul wolfowitz wanted to go into iraq the second they were in office, and that this was always a priority for this group. the fact that they hijacked 9/11 (poor taste?) and have mutilated the legitimate fears of a traumatized populace to try and justify a war which 75% of the world opposed is morally reprehensible, and the fact that they continue acting like the rest of us are fools as american contractors' bodies are dragged through the streets and japanese and israeli arab hostages are faced with being burned alive makes me feel like they really do just see life itself as a giant chess board. (...which of course perfectly fits in with their [now-outdated] cold war foreign policy training.) i believe the egos that are now at stake are outweighing lives, in terms of bringing our boys home, and i also find it impossible to see any of this ending well.

if we do withdraw and actually allow democratic elections, the iraqis will elect an ayatollah, which is clearly not exactly in line with our national security needs, unless said ayatollah is from some reformist line of political islam (doubtful, obviously,). the violence won't stop, either, and the accusations that will come from generations and generations of the world about neglecting the mess that we created will start.

if we stay, the violence will continue and we will give more creedence to the radical islamists simply by staying there. we also won't be able to allow democratic elections in this case either, unless they're rigged. the world will still view us as complete morons for starting the whole thing with no clear way to get out. the word quagmire is more than appropriate.

either way more people are going to die and condi rice's smirk seems at the least distasteful and moreover, perhaps condescending and cruel. this is not how i expect my government officials to behave. rumsfeld, w, the whole lot of them are all arrogance personified. the only one i haven't seen smirk is colin powell, who of course is the one the rest of them crap all over.

in the last century, i would argue that american arrogance had taken an idealistic bent. at least under clinton, it seemed that way. that we could use our power to enforce international law and still work steadily towards achieving our own objectives, but that the most effective way of making america safe is at root an exercise in our image as projected abroad. (very josh marshall there.) when people extol american virtues, they used to be talking about freedom, prosperity, tolerance, despite the occasional french snippet about our general naivete. now things are polluted and i feel like the same conversation would use the adjectives "ignorant, rude, greedy" and i wouldn't be surprised if "racist" got thrown in as well. this administration has taken away the country i was born in and replaced it with a jingoist state disrespectful of its own laws, history and traditions.

my politicians don't smirk, goddammit.

back to work.

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