Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Truthout carries an AP article by Glenn Johnson. “Obama Says US Strategy in Iraq Is Unsound” (

The article – and Obama – quotes George C. Marshall, author of the famous Plan (who at the time was attacked as un-American and maybe ‘pinko’ by a number of braying folk, many of whom had not seen combat in the late war nor proven themselves fitted for bearing great responsibility and fulfilling great and unforgiving tasks, but who had found national politics congenial enough for their purposes).

“The whole world of the future hangs on a proper judgment”. Wellllllllllll, that rules out a lot of folks who’ve joined us only in the past 40 years. Indeed, it also rules out far too many of the Greatest Generation still around who seem only to recall the sodas and the shooting, or at least that’s all the media pick up on.

“Judgment” … ? Oh, I would never presume to judge anybody. Oh that would be judgmental, and we’re Vatican 2 Catholics, you know. You can’t judge … Jesus or Buddha – one of them anyway – said it’s bad. Judging is divisive; we are uniters, not dividers. Sigh. It seems like nobody gets judged anymore. Except sex-offenders. And nobody judges anybody else. Except if those anybodies are sex-offenders. And it all makes sense. (We don’t want to be around when the historians of the future – if our own mis-mal-and-non-feasances don’t lead to a new Dark Ages somewhat before then – start trying to make sense of these times.)

It’s a wonder any child born in this country since 1969 has survived, being taught from the get-go not to ‘judge’, s/he would have kept putting that pudgy little paw on the hot stove until the little nervous system went into shock.

But judging is precisely what grown-ups have to do.

And – the even harder part – in a grown-up way.

We have to inform ourselves, decide, and take all the action appropriate to our role. We study and learn from others, we think and deliberate with others, and all of us make our thoughts known to our representatives.

So, holy hambones, folks! If enough of Us were doing the job, who’d have a lot of time for boredom, emptiness, and all the demonics that rush in to occupy vacuous lives … ?

Yes, I know, ‘vacuous’ is a judgment … but I applied it in the abstract, in general, conceptually, and not for the purposes of disrespecting or hating-on anyone. Was that not clear? I’m sorry, but I won’t apologize.

Obama raises a second question: “Imagine for a moment what we could have done in those days, and months, and years after 9/11.” Yes.

But I imagine what We could have done in those days, and months, and years after 1991 and the fall of the Soviet Union. Instead, Hahvahd sent over a shiny prize gelding that merely provided a hoofs-on-the-ground example of how persons of high social status in a capitalist system can turn a buck for themselves no matter how wide and deep and broad the moral urgency and history-laden significance of their task. Future, hell, son – get into futures plural!

Strange, how once the Soviets were gone, the Americans were – like the wizard of Oz – revealed to have no solid grasp at all on the priceless gift of Liberty, nor on Truth or Justice or – surely – Love and Charity, nor – increasingly – even on their own affairs or their own government. Hence the monstrous thing now lumbers drunkenly through the world-park, loose from its handlers, causing great carnage, still a noisy and burly thing, trumpeting and stamping, fuelling itself without thought for limits – it will not be oppressed by limits nor contained by boundaries … once that was the great genius of its youth.

We are its handlers. What have We to say for Ourselves. Inquiring minds want to know. Angry hearts. Saddened souls. All are wondering … where is The People?

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