HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY SEASON--TIERRA DEL FUEGO, HERE I COME
Countdown Buenos Aires. I may not be totally packed, but I have my packing game plan all worked out. Everything's been falling into place, and I managed to count out enough vitamins and supplements--I take 24 different capsules, pills, powders, concoctions, some once a day, some three times a day--for the whole trip. I managed to pack far more books than I'll be able to read . . . just in case; I always fear I'll be stuck on a 12-hour plane ride with nothing to read.
Anyway, I'm leaving DWT in the capable hands of Ken, one of my oldest friends in the world, and I have no doubt that neither Blunt nor Cheney nor Bush nor Emanuel will get away with anything without Ken at least calling them on it. Meanwhile, I'll be investigating the Bush land grab in Paraguay and seeing what the hell Jenna was up to in San Telmo when she was robbed a few days ago. (San Telmo is like a gentrified East Village-cum-Weho scene; I rented an apartment in a more conservative, less "with it" part of town, Recoleta.) I'm not bringing a laptop, but I'll report back when I return. Meanwhile, if I can't keep away from blogging, I'll probably write some stuff for my travel blog, Around The World Blog, which I've ignored all during the election season.
I was surprised that I still haven't gotten around to writing about my trip to Vietnam. I'm sure I did, in fact, because it had such a profound impact on me--the war there having been so important in my development--but I can't find where I wrote it. Today I was thinking about Vietnam again, not especially because I'm on the verge of a trip, but because of something I read over at Firedoglake, a little holiday greeting from Jane: Happy Thanksgiving From The McCain/Lieberman War. Her story--and, it turns out, many other peoples'--is about the Iraqi Civil War spiraling out of control again. Hundreds killed, just today, in senseless violence. I'll get to that in a second. Jane's point was about what scumbags Lieberman and McCain--who are probably plotting an '08 fake-centrist, fake-"national unity" campaign for the White House--are. They want to send more American soldiers to die senselessly in the Iraq Civil War. My Vietnam thought was about how completely the spiritually minded Vietnamese people seem to have forgiven the grotesque crimes our country committed against theirs. The Iraqis are not so spiritual, and have memories and hatreds that last thousands of years. Thanks, Bush, you asshole.
I've been thinking again about the whys of this war. It's too easy to dismiss it as just Bush being too stupid to know any better and a bunch of rabid neocons in cahoots with the right wing faction in Israel railroading him into it. I think Bush's Regime did have a plan. And it didn't work out the way they wanted it to. (These things rarely do.)
Sure, they knew they would be able to create generational wealth for their families and supporters with the war--a transference of hundreds of billions of dollars from the taxpayers to a chosen few. And sure, they knew they could use the war to consolidate their political power. Yeah, yeah . . . and Saddam's a dick, and they actually may have believed there could have been some operational WMDs there. But I have another idea entirely about why they started this war and why they've run it so very, very "incompetently." And I figure today, just as I leave for South America, I'm going to drop it on you.
The war wasn't primarily about Iraq and Saddam. It was a warning to Iran and North Korea and Pakistan and . . . well, possibly, even Russian and China--anyone who would challenge the American hegemonists. The message was "Look what we will do to your country if you fuck with us. No one from any level of society will be safe. We will destroy your whole society, turn your people against each other, kill your women and children with the utmost impunity and barbarism. We can bomb you from the skies, break into your houses, deprive you of water and food and electricity, level your towns; we can torture anyone we want and murder anyone we want. And there's nothing anyone can do about it. So don't fuck with us."
The message that Iran and North Korea--and reportedly several other countries--took away from this was not the one the Bush Regime wanted them to get. They immediately rushed forward with serious nuclear programs, understanding that unless they could protect themselves from a barbaric and uncontrollable Bush Regime, they would be at the mercy of the worst bunch of fascists the world has seen since the demise of Hitler. And on that, this presidency will be judged by history.