America has been at or on the verge of war with Iraq for as much of my life as I can remember. Now, the John Doe currently known as Barack Obama is bombing the Iraqi insurgency formerly known as al-Qaeda. The whole hubbub makes me nostalgic for a simpler time: A time of yellowcake at the United Nations, compassionate conservatism, and Beltway snipers. A time when “the homeland” was the fashionable nomenclature for our fair erstwhile republic. A time when the imperial president still vaguely went through the motions of getting Congress’s rubber stamp on war.
Smoking guns. Mushroom clouds. American cities in flames. It all sounds so familiar. All I need is a Murder City Devils record, a Chuck Palahniuk novel, and a minimum-wage job where I steal books, and voilÃ , I”m 22 years old again! Even the cast of characters is roughly the same, though I”d be lying if I said I didn”t prefer the work Bush 43 was doing these days.
It’s a millennial thing. You wouldn”t understand.
As Uncle Pat has pointed out, our current community organizer-in-chief has no legal basis for bombing Iraq, even if one would argue that he has some kind of moral imperative. Not that this has ever stopped him before. Smarter men than I (such men exist!) have opined upon our lawless leader who rules by fiat in the name of the People. I doubt a White House that hints at an administrative amnesty which will forever change the face of American culture is going to shy away from waging war without legal authority.
It’s far from being scandalous at this point, but the establishment conservative movement has predictably shifted gears from calling for yesterday’s progressivism today into typical scaremongering.
Glenn Beck, whose doughy face continues to scream out for a good, solid right cross, hasn”t cried over it yet. He has, however, thrown the considerable weight of his survivalist wholesale enterprise-cum-media empire behind whipping American Megachurchianity into its usual froth and frenzy about how “something must be done,” all “for the children.” This Mormon Alex Jones ran back from handing out teddy bears to Central American gang members to display graphic images of ISIS carnage during one of his MRE advertisements pretending to be news shows.
Severed heads are this year’s yellowcake. Something must be done. You know, for kids.
Lindsey Graham, a sort of caricature for what an establishment conservative looks and talks like in 2014, ratcheted up the fear. Not only might your co-religionists (and those poor Yazidis, who are quickly becoming the Belgians of 2014) be in trouble if we don”t commit the lives of American soldiers and beaucoup tax dollars to kicking a hornet’s nest in Iraq for the third time in a generation”we”ll soon be battling ISIS on the very streets of America.
The Wall Street Journal (now with a Fox attitude!) unilaterally declares that we”re already at war for a third time in Iraq. They”re part of the faction in American politics that never saw a war it didn”t like. All you need to do to whip these folks into a jingoistic fervor is start the bombing; their support will immediately follow as talking heads, paid and unpaid, earnestly opine about the need to carry foolish mistakes through to their even more foolish conclusions.