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.”

Thank you!

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.”

- Ross

- Macbeth, 4.3



  1. Gandhi’s view of role models in modern political leadership:

    “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

    Cheney et al have no idea what the last part of that sentence means.

  2. dirigo says:

    Thanks, Steve. It’s funny, about your quote from Gandhi. I heard remarks just yesterday, which included a quote attributed to FDR, saying the same thing, especially the part about getting along with people.

    There’s something good in that bottle, if only arrogant leaders will drink up.

    • dirigo says:

      This just in from the CHNN overnight eastern desk: Seems China is in a position to close on contracts for Iraqi oil which may secure more than 50 percent of that country’s “liberated” output.

      Who’s walking on the cake now?

  3. RUKidding says:

    And then we have Senator Walnuts McCrankyPants “secretly” (or not, I guess) traveling to Syria and then declaring that Team USA Fuck YEAH must get involved. Today it’s Bashar al Assad who’s the boogeyman, although I thought yesterday, it was rebels who wore the black hats. So difficult to keep track without a score-card from the CIA…

    Talk about un-self-reflective….

    Yeah, yeah, unending War on Terror. That’s the ticket. Can we say: CHA CHING!!!???!!!

  4. RUKidding says:

    And now, also, General Betrayus is working with investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., while Sir John Scarlett, former head of MI6, is a Senior Advisor for Morgan Stanely & the Chertoff Group.

    And the beat goes on…