The Stage Is Set For The Duration
Recent items in the news:
The commandant of the marine corps said a few days ago U.S. forces will likely be at the “war on terror,” or whatever it’s called now, for a bit longer, maybe another decade. Or more.
The marine leader’s remarks echo those by an obscure defense official overseeing undercover doo doo. This Obama defense spokesman, appearing before a congressional committee, said U.S. forces, set in preemptive mode by George W. Bush, are likely to keep operating hither and yon in pretty much the same way for another 10 to 20 years.
And retired general Stanley McChrystal, fired from his post as commander of American troops in Afghanistan, has been hanging out at Yale, acquiring swell elite connections while training perhaps in even more rarified levels of leadership. The general is now pushing for a broad national service program. But McChrystal seems aware that such a call cannot laud military service itself as a reason to serve, despite current security concerns. He seems to be calling for national service lite, even at a time when the military is exhausted and personnel issues may not be easily solved by waiting for platoons of new heroes to show up at recruiters’ doors, with decent educational credentials and blank criminal rap sheets in hand.
Meanwhile, international (or “foreign”) reporting suggests Syria is getting out of control in such a way that the “great powers” will be drawn in even more than is apparent now, on a level which will make us dust off our history books on World War I, and prompt calls to sing bouncy George M. Cohan tunes every night, before and after dinner.
As for Bush, he just finished a faux, frantic bike ride on his Texas spread with selected veterans and other handlers and shapers of his post-presidential image. It’s said he’s reflected on his time in office and has come to terms with it (at least within his psyche, and maybe his mother’s). Bush’s amazing clarity is captured in this quote, offered just after a “hairy” ride around Crawford, as he hosing down his two-wheeler:
“I enjoyed being president. And when you’re president, you’re famous. Now whether I enjoyed fame itself, I just, you know, you’d have to get the psychologist on me.
— snip —
“I don’t long for fame. Nor do I long for power. I’ve come to realize that power can be corrosive if you’ve had it for too long. It can dim your vision (video cue: roll George H.W. Bush’s protestations from back in the day about the “vision thing”). And so I came to the conclusion that, you know, I don’t long for fame. And really, gonna shy away from it. I’m not very shy. Avoid it.”
As for Dick Cheney, he seems basically not to want new friends. Forget about mea culpas, to say nothing about a possible guest shot on Two and a Half Men. He was quoted recently in the Telegraph UK, in a series of articles questioning why the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war is gathering dust somewhere in London instead of being released in a “timely manner.” Cheney, dead-ender to the end on the torture question, refuses to reflect. Can’t have that; and, wanting people to think of him as a human being, with normal emotions of, say, regret, or remorse, is a total non-starter (there are thorny legal issues of course, which can’t be acknowledged). No respect for the decent opinions of mankind though from the Dick. Not even a willingness to drink from the loving cup:
“If you want to be loved, go be a movie star, ” he said. No word on whether the Dick would want or be able to sweat it out with W. on the dirt track in Crawford, unless he had his duck gun on his shoulder.
As it has been and forever shall be, these are my male role models. Don’t ask me to recant.
My dirt bike awaits, and I see ducks in the air.
~ ~ ~
“Alas, poor country! – where violent sorrow seems a modern ecstasy.”
- Macbeth, 4.3