Has it really been four years since Our Fearless Leader, the Deserter-In-Chief, the Chickenhawk in a Chimp Suit, launched his foul act of aggression against the hapless people of Iraq? At times it feels more like four hundred years, and this illegal outlaw regime has been on its relentless and wide-ranging rampage of death for at least six thousand ... At any rate, it’s becoming more and more difficult to even remember what the general shape of things was like before the diseased worm of “Neo-Conservatism” unceremoniously hatched itself out of the cavernous recesses of Beelzebub’s back passage, and ascended to the position of dominance it enjoys today.
It’s enough to induce otherwise reasonable people to fruitlessly, and idiotically, yearn for the dubious ambiguities of the Clinton era. Or, more accurately, what we think we remember of that particular period, which isn’t very much. But then, not being able to recall clearly almost anything that came before the present Baboon epoch is, obviously, a signature plank in the Neo-Con’s rickety platform. So, whatever.
Yep. Four years of the revolting, rapidly decomposing albatross known as Iraq being hung around our necks, and six-plus years of a Monkey-Man government that was so generous in bestowing it on us. I know that I, and all my brothers and sisters on this particular end of the blogging spectrum -- not to mention the more intelligent, thinking version of humanity generally -- have wondered, have gnawed and gnashed and gummed and basically chewed to pieces the critical but, ultimately, pointless question: How did this happen? Not just the obvious, the violently illegal and immoral manifestations of Neo-Con insanity in Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere), but the tawdry far-right laundry list of murder, destruction, and avarice without boundaries as a whole. What a despair-riddled query to nowhere, as resistant to answers as it is useless.
Four years ... my oh my.
We all know, from unending repetitions of Lord Acton’s dictum, that power corrupts. We are less aware that it breeds folly; that the power to command frequently causes failure to think; that the responsibility of power often fades as its exercise augments. The overall responsibility of power is to govern as reasonably as possible in the interest of the state and its citizens. A duty in that process is to keep well-informed, to heed information, to keep mind and judgment open and to resist the insidious spell of wooden-headedness. If the mind is open enough to perceive that a given policy is harming rather than serving self-interest, and self-confident enough to acknowledge it, and wise enough to reverse it, that is a summit in the art of government.
-- Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly
(Insert huge SIGH here)