Thursday, December 10, 2009
An old friend stopped by last night, and after a few moments of catching up on the doings of mutual acquaintances the conversation turned to politics, because my old friend is a political animal.
And since he's a lifelong Democrat and loyal trooper in the cause, my old bud felt obligated to stick up for Obama's version of the Afghan War, and for the excuses and rationalizations Barack used the other night to attempt to justify the so-called "surge," but my friend's heart wasn't really in it.
Earlier in my life I would have gotten angry, but now all I feel is sadness when confronted with the illogical contortions of liberal political orthodoxy. I tried to patiently explain that the Bush-Obama war "over there" has almost nothing to do with what's going on in Afghanistan, and everything to do with what's going on in this country, with what we've become.
The war has no purpose and no object other than itself. We're fighting a war in Afghanistan because we have to be having one somewhere.
Are educated and well-read Americans really unaware that we've fulfilled George Orwell's prophecy of perpetual war? And who is the "real enemy" in this conflict, other than ourselves? For the true purpose of the perpetual war and this country's $900-billion annual military expenditure, as Orwell observed, is to keep us frightened, poor, uneducated, and unable to act in our own self-interest.
Republicans and Democrats alike may move to cut programs such as Social Security and Medicare, which the more right-wing among them are inclined to call "entitlements," but the Pentagon's monopolization of our resources, resources which might be used for health care, education, and putting people to work rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, is sacrosanct. Nation building on the other side of the world hogs the front burners, the public is hypnotized, the politically orthodox memorize their talking points, and the war goes on with our "approval."