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The International Writers Magazine
: REALITY CHECK 11.26.2005

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S NEW CLOTHES
The Iraq Papers Part I
James Campion

Learning to Jog Naked on the Endless Treadmill of a Winless War

The following is the first of five segments tying together the loose ends of a fantastic cargo of misinformation, propaganda, media hype and revisionist history surrounding what is now being erroneously dubbed the worst war effort in the 229 years of this republic. Today we’ll lay the groundwork for our series by saving precious protest/debate time believing and/or fighting for the current administration to unfurl, discuss, or merely make-up an exit strategy.

The piper, as the nifty allegory goes, is due. All doubt has been expunged. Whatever hopes and plans and flag-waving, ribbon-tying nonsense that has been perpetuated by the most blindly optimistic pom-pom gripping homers, they are now null and void. The jig is undeniably up, the check has been cashed, and every last chicken has settled home to roost. The Iraq War - Desert Shield in all its gory incarnations has now outlived even the direst doomsayer prognostications offered up by the least likely peaceniks of yesteryear. And there’s no end in sight. Not with this president, or any president who ordered the thing up.
It is beyond him now to stop it. Too late. And it wouldn’t have mattered if John Kerry had been elected a year ago either. It didn’t matter when Tricky Dick took the reigns from the tattered remains of LBJ. History is our greatest source. Been there. Done that. Got the tee shirt. Once the United States of America gets its teeth into an invasion, occupation, police action, whatever, it’s in for the long haul.

So when people ask you why the vermin are presently leaving the sinking vessel, so to speak, you just tell them any breathing mammal worth a shit knows when the cabin is taking on too much water. It’s a doomed proposition. Instinct tells you this. Pure instinct. Not fact or intellect. Vibes. This baby is screwed. Totally fucked, or as the marines like to say, FUBAR - "Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition". That’s what we got here, ladies and gents, a full-on, hardcore FUBAR. And no one’s going to be able to click their heels and make it back to Kansas or Texas for that matter, regardless of what well-meaning congressmen say now.

Specifically we site Pennsylvania representative, John Murtha, a decorated war veteran, who spent 37 years of his life serving as a US Marine, and, who last week, after years of support for this mess, including printed records in his own book as late as a year ago, told his commander-in-chief we have to bring the boys home...right now! God bless him, he’s at least willing to admit he made a mistake voting for the war, plugging the war, going to the mat for our Boy President and our nation’s best stab at foreign intelligence. But he’s a silly man and he has lost his mind. Psychologists call it Temporary Paralysis of the Reasoning Functions. My father calls it Shit for Brains. Either way, he’ll be fine, but for now he’s a crazy man.
Try and remember if you can delve way back to the winter of 2002, this was invasion an easy sell. Everyone was on board, most importantly, the American people. Big time. Well over 60%. Close to 70%. Then came congress. Over 90% was it? An overwhelming vote for war. The CIA was hot with info, the Pentagon was breathing hard, and the press sat around saluting everyone and wearing American flags on their lapels. It was a slam dunk, to offer a tired quotation. Sure, maybe a few European nations were barking, a few college kids and folk singers, but even Ted Kennedy said Saddam Hussein had to go.
Oh, and by the way, let’s not leave out that the man won a national election 12 months ago and defeated an opponent who supported the war.

So why should the president abandon ship?
He has everyone on record as being enthusiastically for it. Didn’t have to sneak around like before Viet Nam or push embargos like before World War II or institute Marshall Law like before the Civil War. Marched right into the United Nations, which, despite later vapidly disingenuous protestations, passed an ironclad resolution to oust a dictator who did not comply with international regulations. Made a few speeches, showed dramatic slow-motion replays of planes crashing into the World Trade Center accompanied by haunting melodies, and whipped the remaining pansies out of the Oval Office.

Why should the president pull out now?
Even if the whole shebang has been deficiently planned and horribly executed, coupled with mounds of misinformation and bad predictions coming out of every orifice of his cabinet and the Pentagon and his generals, why should George W. Bush quit now? If he does, he loses. Presidents are not used to losing. In fact, they’re immune to it. This is how they become presidents. The very notion sends them into a diarrhea-induced rage. They spit and whine and twitch spastically as if cornholed by a 5,000-volt livestock taser.
But if the president stays in the game long enough, keeps slamming money on the table – he has a shot for the big cash-in. You think the Yale Boy doesn’t know he’s already sunk? His only chance at being painted by history as anything less than a war mongering dumbstruck goober is to blindly deal into an inside straight or even a royal mother flush! Imagine that. Land on his feet like Mr. Magoo or the Boston Red Sox. Get lucky, if just once. Stay alive long enough to fall ass backwards into fortune.
But if the president leaves the table, he gets nothing. And right now Junior is one of the most unpopular presidents since Ulysses S. Grant. But he isn’t a war hero or even a decent drunk, and, most of all, he doesn’t have to get re-elected.
Good luck.

Part Two: WHEN GOOD IDEAS ARE EXECUTED BY DUMB ASSES Dec 6th
Debunking The Myth of the Iraq Mistake

© James Campion December 2005
www.jamescampion.com
realitycheck@jamescampion.com

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