Wednesday, October 10, 2001

2001: A War Odyssey

OK, so we're going to war. Look on the bright side -- what's the worst that could happen?

The end of the world.

OK, uh. What's the second worst that could happen?

The engagement grinds on. Try as we might to avoid civilian casualties, we're making an omelette and breaking eggs. TV Jihad flashes pics of dead Arab women and kids. The Arab street erupts (as I predicted and has already started to happen) -- the rulers of Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia get to play Anwar Sadat -- or drop support for America. While they're making up their minds, suicide bombers blow up most of the Middle East oil fields. Most of the leaders then drop us. The stock market crashes -- world opinion starts back-pedaling away from us. Then Ramadan hits and the Islamic mob goes nuts from Morocco to Indonesia. Our troops, meanwhile, are bogged down and suffering heavy casualties -- captives are tortured, used as hostages, executed in show trials, forced to mouth confessions. Nasty shit goes down in America from some of the sleeper cells dramatic, massive, ugly shit. American resolve weakens. Pakistan has continued to support us -- but goes down in bloody Iran-style revolution. The Taliban takes over, gets the H-bomb, threatens to blow up Israel or some target in Western Europe if America doesn't leave -- not only from Afghanistan, but the Middle East entirely -- and we do. We leave, as the Russians did before us. The true believers hoot and holler. We return, broken.

What's the best that could happen?

We get in there, kill Osama and some key officials, declare victory and leave. Once home, we launch a Manhattan project into alternative energy and do our best to sever dependence on Mideast oil as soon as possible.

An attempt to do anything more is idiotic, reality-denying suicide.

We are not going to eliminate terror, goddamnit. What's next? A war on anxiety? A full-scale assault on angst?

You can go to war against terrorists. You can't go to war against terror. Terror isn't an entity. Terror is a tactic. It's like starting a war against flanking maneuvers.

The modern idea of terror goes back to the French revolution. The notion: it's a rational fear based on an understanding of bad things that will happen to you if. If the loanshark cuts off your thumb because the payments were late -- that's terror. If Michael Myers knifes you for no reason whatsoever -- that's horror. Get it?

Obviously the French didn't invent this shit. It's as old as any bully in the world using intimidation to control. It's a fucking emotion. You can't go to war against an emotion.

The attempt is ludicrous, bound to fail. It's all there in the original name for the damn war: "Operation Infinite Justice."

JOHN WAYNE: Alright men, we're going to eliminate all evil everywhere -- let's go!

1 comment:

Marty Fugate said...

What I didn't predict is that we actually kicked ass in Afghanistan. We actually won the war -- then walked away from it to fight a different war that made no sense at all.