Banana Republican

The man from Fuddled, MN is on vacation this week, but that doesn't mean I can't still be outraged by him! Somehow, last week, I missed one of his high-larious "Screedblogs", this on the subject of Castro, the Demon in Human Shape who even today menaces Boca Raton. Lileks goes for one of his little flights of fancy and imagines Uncle Fidel being visited by 'The Angel of History'.

Eventually it will come down to this, my friend: history will note that the people in the American jails at the tip of this island ate better than the average Cuban.

Which, of course, has nothing to do with nearly 50 years of sanctions, blockades and embargos by the world power just up the street, but is entirely due to Fidel's Stalinist treachery and greed. When you think about it, those illegally held torture victims at Guantanamo are really kinda lucky!

Odd, really: in this democratic, egalitarian nation, the only man you saw fit to follow happened to be your brother. What are the chances of that, eh? Most people in America don’t know a thing about him. ‘Another Castro?’ the Americans think. ‘They had a spare?’

Hmmm. That seems so oddly familiar to me. As if something similar had happened here, recently, maybe eight years ago. Something that made leftist observers comment on the banana-republicity of it all, to the silence or scorn of conservatives. But I simply cannot remember what it was!

Eh, probably wasn't important.


If you're having war problems, I feel bad for you, son

So, how's the war going? You know, the war! The war in Afghanistan.

Oh, wait, let's not talk about that one. We won that one, and everything's fine, and shut up. What I mean is the war in Iran Syria Lebanon.

Actually, you know what? Forget that one. I know some people call it a "proxy war", but what does that mean? That word is confusing. It's just Israel, and they're cleaning house in Palestine or Lebanon or Hezbollanea or one of those dirty countries, and it's not our business, so forget it. Let's get to the important war: North Korea.

Ha ha ha! Oh, I'm kidding, of course. I mean the war in Iraq. Technically, the war in Iraq is over; what's killing our soldiers by the hundreds and their people by the thousands is an insurgency. Or a terrorism. Or something like that. Whatever it is, we have to win it, unless we don't, but the important thing to remember is, it's very difficult.

Everybody wants to say that. The president reminds us that it's hard, in that voice that isn't so much the "don't patronize me" voice of a man who's being accused not knowing something he really does know as it is the "okay already" voice of a man who did something wrong and is trying to cover. The Republicans say we can't 'cut and run', which I guess means we stay in the house we set on fire so at least we go down with it. The Democrats, who are doing a bang-up job of cleaning every last vestige of matter out of their collective nutsack, keep saying that we have a difficult job ahead of us and there's no easy answers, but at the very least we can't keep doing what we've been doing, whatever that is. (The Democrats say this because they know that actually putting forth an idea might allow the Republicans to criticize them, and they can't have that, because they might lose the five or six 'swing' or 'center' voters that we are assured exist somewhere in the Big Sky states.) What nobody wants to say, what nobody has the nerve to say, what this whole fucking country is deathly afraid of admitting before the whole war just like we were in Vietnam because, I don't know, it'll make us look like pussies in front of that girl at the Hot Dog on a Stick, is that we fucked up. We did something really wrong and stupid, and it just keeps getting worse, and maybe we ought to get the fuck out while the the-fuck-out-getting is good.

I was, for a while, one of those well-meaning numbnuts who said, "Well, okay, yeah, the whole thing was a goddamn disaster from Day Zero, but we can't just leave, because what will happen to those poor people?" But you know what, me? Whatever's going to happen to those poor people, it's either already happened, or it's happened, or it's going to happen, regardless or whether or not PFC Antoine Huckleberry of Young America, MN is getting his face blown off while it's happening. I'm having a hard time thinking of a worst-case scenario that will occur if we pull up stakes and go the fuck home. Civil war? Already happening. Religious fanatics in power? Already happening, and has gone on in (our enemy) Iran and (our ally) Saudi Arabia for decades without the world coming to an end. A brutal dictator taking over? Iraq, as a nation, has been to that there and done that that. A partitioning of the country? Even elements of the neoconservative right are talking about this like it's a good thing. A humanitarian crisis? We passed that road sign about seventy miles back, kid. If worse comes to worst, and we end up with a few hundred thousand people dead, well, just throw 'em on the pile, right? We can have our own citizens over there getting aced for fuckin' nothing, or we can put them to some decent use.

The Bush adminstration has sold us all on the idea that it's a very complex and difficult situation, and we can't just walk away from it. But you know what? Sure we can. History is already being written along the lines that, hey, we got into this war, and yeah, it's "controversial", being completely predicated on lies since before it even started, but it's really hard, and who knows what the right thing to do would be? I do. The right thing would be to fucking stop. It may be a complex and difficult situation to tell your son to stop beating his kids, because after all, you beat him, and he's used to it, and wouldn't that make you a hypocrite?, and besides, maybe your grandkids enjoy being beaten, or if you didn't toughen 'em up with a few slaps now and then some kid at the schoolyard would beat them up twice as hard, and who's to say if you didn't discipline those fuckers right, they would have turned into a bully themselves? But telling your son to stop beating his kids is still the right thing to do.

As far as I can tell, the worst things that will happen if we pull out of Iraq are (a) we'll look like schmucks, which, I mean, mission already fucking accomplished there; (b) we'll have to abandon our precious hard-won democracy, which, you know, hey! it's working out so well, plus, fuck that! That's nothing but fucking pride. That's the guy who completely fucked up building his house, and there's no electricity so the food is spoiling and the insulation is mislaid so it's freezing cold in the winter, and the plumbing doesn't work so his kids have to piss and shit in old coffee cans, but he won't move the family into an apartment, because goddamn it, he did a good job on the bannister, and he's not going to leave that behind; and (c) the horrible scumbags doing business over there won't be able to loot the country anymore. Which, I not-so-secretly suspect, is the real reason we're sticking around, and, hell, maybe given how fucked our economy is -- like Frank Sobotka said, we used to make things here, but now we just pick the other guy's pocket -- is a good thing. If we pull out of Iraq the whole system might collapse and someone will decide to collect on all the debt we can't pay off. So maybe it's our patriotic duty to support war profiteers, instead of stringing them up.

Anyway, how's the war going? I've been busy.