Thursday, November 30, 2006

Charlie Brown Syndrome

I know I said earlier that I have a lot of work to do and I do but something is nagging me and I have to get it off my chest.

Everyone is waiting for a solution to Iraq. We are each praying in our own way for a solution. We know in our heart of hearts that we are completely screwed and that while we can hope for some miracle it probably isn’t going to happen. We waited to see what was to come of Bush’s meeting with al-Miliki and now we will wait for the long awaited findings of the Iraq Study Group (ISG). Then we will be waiting for the Democratic Congress to wade in.

It should be clear by now that what we are waiting for is not going to happen as we desire. If you take a serious look at who makes up the ISG it should be clear that this is going to be just another political spin job and the true goal of the ISG is to soften the reality of what this administration has done to America and the Middle East. Its leader tells the whole story…James Baker the ace Bush family political operative and trouble shooter. Once again the American people are going to be treated to a shell game of propaganda. The propaganda being that this panel of “experts” knows the truth and will point the country in the right direction. It is a damage control effort plain and simple.

Nothing will change. The same champions of the PNAC (Project for a New American Century) are still in place (sans Rummy) and their ambitions for a global American hegemony and the willingness to make it so with armed intervention are still alive and well. Secondly, by throwing up this panel of so called experts they are telling the American electorate that “we don’t care that the great majority of you want us the hell out of Iraq and soon” we are going to do it our way. The current administration wants the American people to mind its own business and leave the driving to them. The election be damned. He’s the decider and he has decided that we will be in Iraq until…

The ISG is not really a serious attempt to address Iraq or the assumptions, lies, and organization that led to the debacle. If it was a serious attempt to remedy the disaster it would have elected officials, military experts, Middle East experts, Iraq war veterans, family members of soldiers killed in Iraq and finally people from the antiwar movement. It has none of these. Not one person on the panel possesses specialized knowledge of Islam or the Middle East. The media has bought in to the idea that some magical solution is forthcoming but the reality is that these aren’t the people capable of the kind “out-of-the-box thinking” that is necessary for us to change the game.

The ISG is merely a vehicle that will provide the cover necessary for the Bush administration to shift course in Iraq without admitting defeat. Its number one goal is to insure no one is held directly responsible for the war and its vast ramifications. Secondarily, it will not change the system that is responsible for the war in the first place. Everyone that played a role in the march to war will still be right where they were and ready to do it again.

The sad thing is that the majority of Americans are likely to fall for this song and dance one more time. We are like Charlie Brown and the football when it comes to stuff like this. It has been ingrained in us to “trust the experts” and we generally do even when evidence like Iraq, Katrina, and Afghanistan are staring us in the face. We really, really want to believe that our leaders know what they are doing and will act rationally. We really, really want to believe that our leaders know what they are doing.

Why do we believe that our leaders are going to do right when all evidence points to the contrary? The idea that our leaders are capable of acting in irrational and destructive ways is too scary for most of us to take seriously, much less to accept. History has shown us over and over, and recent history has underlined the fact, that our leaders can make stupid decisions and are even incompetent. Their decisions regularly lead to a large number of deaths and massive destruction but we always fall back and defer to them and hope that this time our trust is not mislaid.

So what’s the moral of this story? We all need to recognize and accept that our leaders are not gods. Their poop stinks just like yours and they put their pants on one leg at a time. We should resist the desire to trust them as if they were more intelligent and better informed that we are. If we are knowledgeable and think clearly as citizens we can make sound decisions and are just as capable as the “so-called” experts of knowing the best course for us to take. We are capable of judging our leaders’ decisions and we should do so and we should loudly let them know when we think they are wrong. Our founding fathers knew that a well informed populace was the best guarantee a country could have in insuring that the government was of the people and for the people. Pay attention and scream when you think you should.

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