Tuesday, April 29, 2008

An H-Bomb Love Sonnet: Part I

How to Quit Worrying and Love the Bomb
Part One: H-Bombs as a Antidote to Incompetence - Cleansing Nuclear Fire? 23

Those of us who experienced the perpetual terror of the Cold War can probably remember thoughts about just how incredibly awful all those h-bombs made the world. Who could imagine that the day might come when we looked fondly upon these mega-death arsenals as our last bastion of national defense?

We face many types of crises. Thanks largely to the immense and cynical greed of those in our government, it seems that every avenue of our culture is challenged, seriously corrupted or in an outright failure state. But, leaving all that aside, let us focus on the rather concrete problems we now face in our national security.

Given the system of our choice of government, we are inescapably compelled to place our trust in the Commander-In-Chief. The velocity of events in the world clearly require that viable decisions be made far more quickly than what would be possible if they required the methodical education of the citizens. Only the most direly Polly Anna would dare believe that no threats exist.

However, the consistent descent in the quality of these leadership decisions has, without any particular influence of ideology or partisanship, led us to a critical lack of trust. You can still dance with the words if you wish, but right now our government has taken both your sons and your treasure (and your son’s treasure, and probably his son’s treasure) into a exquisitely sleazy political gambit, and it has become a horrific disaster. Our government and, especially, its executive branch has lied to us.

Just as we remember the terror of the Cold War, we also remember the shameless, unending lies of the Viet Nam War. The body counts. The indescribable yet inevitably concrete evil of the enemy. The daily “turning points” toward a final, yet continually mysterious success. By the end of this mortal national toothache, twenty years or so later, no one believed the President no matter who he might have been.

Mr. Rove designed the political features of this nightmare. The military requirements suggested by the Generals would mean nothing. The size of our invading army would be determined by political expediency. No one in the nation would be asked to pay for anything. The entire affair would be financed by money borrowed from Chinese savings accounts. (There ceased to be any here, long ago.) The public relations for this train wreck would be managed by scaring the hell out of everyone who might possibly oppose it. Poison gas. Nuclear bombs. Terrorists. When that fell apart, he added a bit of Bush-style Texas religion. The enemy was “evil” or “criminal.” Our military goal became liberation instead of defense.

The generous commentator might describe it as “unfortunate.”

Still, whether we believed all these terrifying innuendoes or not, we citizens were still not too concerned with our national safety here. (“Fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.”) Without ever actually saying it in so many words, we were all lulled into a comfortable conclusion that, even if we lost in Iraq and suffered all of his manufactured threats as actual fact, we would remain safe and secure. You know. Stop by the grocery on the way home from the office.

No matter how obviously bad everything was going “over there,” life here would continue to be about the same.

So, it must be time to direct our thoughts back to our H-bombs.

There exists the unsettling possibility that an actual threat to our “home” security might arise while we still enjoy the genius of this Commander-In-Chief. Is there, now, anything he could tell us that would, once again, garner our trust in a way sufficient to defend ourselves? We could probably still respond in a self-preservation manner, but only after enough blood had been spilled to inject some credibility back into his rather hollow character.

Even then, as we licked the wounds of our next horrible injury and sat in our homes terrified, someone like Mr. Rove would continue to work at manipulating the scene to a partisan advantage. The media would be managed with even more frenzy. The mushroom clouds and the poison gas would be trotted out as reasons justifying even more cheap grabs for power. Worst of all, some of us would believe it all. “You go to war with the President you have, not the President you need.”

Well, world, count on this. No matter how incompetent our greed crazed President may be, there is someone left (after he fired all those disagreeable Generals) who will still push the button on all those old nukes. Regardless of how much damage this government can inflict on our military, our State Department, our reputation, our economy or our national spirit as it pursues its childish ambitions, this old and constant weapon can still be unleashed.

Yes, we have lost a ground war to some trailer park east of Cairo. Gloat all you wish about that, you enemies of ours, but remember that somewhere within us, we have a continuing impulse to survive the errors we have made in our fear and greed. Listen up, all of you who would attack us. Granted, the cowards in charge would probably have no stomach for it, but still go ahead and cultivate your worst fears. There still exists an American finger for that American button!

Has this Cold War weapon become our last bastion? The only one beyond the debilitating touch of these grotesque leaders? Do we really want to spend our years in this period of imperial decline hiding behind our Minutemen?

It's ugly, but it seems like that is exactly what we asked for. Twice.

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