The ministry of silly walks

For some reason, a lot of Americans, and virtually all of our media, have unaccountably come to the conclusion that running around bombing places willy-nilly is the greatest thing since even before sliced bread; capable of remaking the world to our whims, spreading “freedom,” and when that kind of namby-pamby stuff gets tired, at least getting us some cheap gas.  Breaking a few (brown, of course) eggs will always produce a tasty, if a bit climate-changing, omelette.  It’s impossible not to wonder where they got this ridiculous idea, since there is no evidence that this is true, and an astounding string of debacles that tend to to, putting it mildly, refute it.  We’ve been bombing everybody we felt like bombing pretty much nonstop since Dresden, Hiroshima, and Cambodia, with less than nothing to show for it, unless I’m missing something. I’m leaving to the side for the moment that those killed by our bombs might see things differently, but since they’re dead, who cares what they think?  I’m talking about the question of what, pray tell, could a trailer-dwelling but proudly white Mississippian see about bombing things all the time that pays off for them?  I mean, if you don’t like the brown, lynching is at least economical, and the enemies thus eliminated are at least close enough to make a visible difference.  If some dirty Ay-rab gets atomized halfway across the world, that doesn’t stop his American cousin from trying to date your daughter, or worse, and those bombs are expensive.  

I’m trying to think of a place where American bombs have resulted in anything but an embarrassing disaster for those who financed it, usually on credit, and I can’t.  When the bill comes, it’s nicer to have at least the unaffordable purchase to comfort the unwise spender.  ”I can’t afford heat, so it’s a good thing I got this mink coat.”  ”I just lost my health insurance, but at least I have a TV so big that Bill O’Reilly’s mouth looks like Lake Erie.”  Instead, we have wingnuts previously and subsequently utterly hostile to such ideas suddenly turning into feminists for Afghani women, ACT UP activists for Iranian gays, and “Fair Election” zealots who nonetheless helped Bush steal two elections and govern as though he’d won a landslide.  Bombing is good for this bunch, since it minimizes American casualties, which are the only ones that even slightly matter, looks good on TV, and makes a lot of defense contractors generous come election time.  Still, its popularity with the public remains a mystery.

Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, Mogadishu, Iraq, Afghanistan…..  the list is long of pointless bombing campaigns that cost us dearly in terms of both money and moral standing, and delivered the precise opposite of their many shifting “goals.”  The last two are still costing us billions, slaughtering (albeit unimportant) things a sane person might call “people,” and doing exactly jack shit to help us, even if our only goals are grabbing power and money, which of course they are.

What’s the answer to this dilemma?  Bomb Iran.  The neocons are bored with their old war porn and need something else; we all know the feeling, but is Bill Kristol’s boner really enough to start a war for?  Sadly, a lot of dimwitted and dehumanized people seem to think so, and maybe they have a point.

By spending all our money bombing things, we won’t have any money for schools, roads, clean water and air, healthcare, or prosperity, and that immigrant problem will be solved in a big hurry.  Hell, some of the places we bombed might start to look good.  Mission Accomplished.

That’s the best I can come up with.


  1. rmp says:

    Sorry to hear about your health insurance. I hesitate to try and justify any bombings done in our name. Under consideration could be Serbia to stop the murder of Muslims although the Chinese were not so happy about their embassy. I wished we could have used bombs to stop the slaughter in Rwanda. That’s all the candidates I can come up with.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    I wasn’t referring to my own conditions…. I have heat included in my rent, have a comparatively cheap coyote (my one mink is just a vest…) , and never had health insurance to begin with. I was trying to think of funny hypotheticals based on righty misinformation about people less fortunate… they all have flat screens and spend their money foolishly. I’ve never even had a TV myself.
    Are you going to write a post at some point? I’ve been working my ass off lately but it has left me oddly eager to write in my diminished spare time, but I’d love a little content relief.

  3. rmp says:

    I will post something tomorrow whether it is good or not.

  4. bystander says:

    Well, you know, this is all true. We’ve very little to show for all of the ordinance we’ve rained on others. Unless, more recently, you’d want to consider generating enemies as an political good, to be distinguished from an economic good, although they can be related.

    Some might argue that WWI and WWII were abject failures. Didn’t generate hardly an enemy out of those. Worse, we wound up with allies. Korea didn’t really go anywhere. Those folks just kind of dug in until we got bored and went home. Vietnam, horror of horrors, failed to generate many enemies, either. At least, none so we’d know. And, then the Cold War just kind of fizzled.

    Now, the middle east, on the other hand, has been a huge success. We’re generating enemies faster than we know what to do with them. It’s a veritable bonanza. All kinds of political capital to spend coming out of bit of geography.

    Some folks probably need a good dose of outrage, and a fearsome enemy to get themselves out of bed in the morning. If Bill Kristol wasn’t allowed to agitate for war most days of the week, he’d probably be chronically depressed. My guess is this war business has less to do with boners than it has to do with the uptake of serotonin. Besides, what other job could he do?

    • cocktailhag says:

      Exactly. Nixon began with using war, and its attendant “National Security” exemptions to ordinary democratic government, and it’s never stopped. Why not start a war so you can silence your opponents? Win or lose, Cheney et al still win, and Neocons are probably the only group these days not worried about their jobs.
      Sheesh, how we’ve been had.
      Pssst.. it’s “ordnance.” An “ordinance” is a local law of some sort… These only blow up metaphorically. (my teacher Mom still haunts me from the grave….)

      • bystander says:

        jeeze, and i thought all i had to sweat was the spelling of serotonin…

        • bystander says:

          ‘course as i think about it we ain’t done so good in the ordinance department either with all that nashnul sekurity stuff drifting down to a local sop shop near you

          • cocktailhag says:

            It’s the dangedest thing… Lifelong bricklayers call their own trade “masonary,” head to the gun shop to but their “ordnance,” and complain about “government” regulation (like “ordinances” that say you can’t have more than three dead cars in your trailer park…). It’s a vicious coycle, I tell ya. (Bugs Bunny voice makes that funnier…)
            Don’t get me started on “wrack” and “rack,” much less “flounder” and “founder.” I feel it’s a battle I’m destined to lose. Joan probably died just in time.

  5. Karen M says:

    My only qualifier would be that having read Paul Fussell’s “Thank God for the Atom Bomb,” I hesitate to say that Hiroshima was a mistake. But only because he, an historian and WWII vet (infantry), along with others from that time, insist that many more American lives would otherwise have been lost. But… that’s all I’ve got, and it’s 2nd, maybe even 3rd hand.

    [Fussell's book also includes an entertaining piece on the 2nd amendment.]

    • rmp says:

      I’ve never been able to make up my mind on those two atom bombs. Seems like we might have waited longer so only one was needed. What many people forget is that we killed hundreds of thousands with the fire bombing in the large cities and I don’t think that was to get the emperor to surrender as much as vengeance.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’ve wondered about that too, and I have Fussell’s book in my library. On some level, particularly given what we’ve been treated to of late, I dismiss all government claims of hypothetical deaths averted. Fussel becomes Cheney in my eyes when I think about it too much. At the same time, Fussell makes a cogent and certainly oft-repeated argument in favor of having nuked civilians, twice, essentially because we whitey’s lives are worth so danged much more.
      I find that unpersuasive. Dropping the Bomb was mostly about scaring the commies and satisfying the “we paid for it; where is it?” crowd than it was about saving lives, if not in intent than at least in effect. Look how quickly the Commies got their own Bomb after that, thus enriching another generation of MIC freeloaders.
      I love Paul Fussell, but I disagree with him on this point.

      • Karen M says:

        I only brought him up because his argument is the only one that was ever the least bit persuasive. Of course, the world was or seemed different then. I read that book, and another of his, pre-9/11.

        The rest of the essays in that collection gave me no problems that I recall, especially the one about the 2nd aendment and its TWO clauses.

        • Karen M says:

          I meant to add that I cannot equate Fussell with Cheney, given the latter’s many deferments, and the former’s having served in the infantry.

  6. consuela says:

    “Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we’ve been bombing over the years been complaining?”
    – George Wallace