Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It feels too early

But it's not really. Not when it comes to the Presidential election stuff. It (meaning New Hampshire and also Iowa) is too small and counts for too much. But so far after these two states have caucused/primaried it's Obama and Clinton in a horserace for the Dems and McCain, Romney and Huckabee for the Republicans.

I am feeling held hostage to the tyranny of the minority. There are more voters in Los Angeles County than those two states combined at least in gross numbers. And yet, by the time my fellow Californians it's possible that it won't even be a race anymore. And the California vote is just a few weeks away.

At the same time, I am in the middle of Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, former Baghdad bureau chief of the Washington Post and the reporter who probably spent more time on the ground in Iraq than anyone. As I read about how badly the Bush administration FUCKED things up by sending doznes of inexperienced "loyal Republicans" to build a new country out of the ashes of an invaders' war, I can't help but shudder to think that none of the Democrats have articulated the thinnest of plans to do anything in Iraq other than leave.

Yeah, I don't want to be there and every time I hear of a solider dying I am beyond thankful that the friends and associates of mine who have served in the military aren't there. But we FUCKED that country bringing civil war to its streets while devastating the infrastructure. And it seems like our desire for a fast departure has a hint of moral cowardice. As we are unwilling to truly help rebuild that which we destroyed.

Granted, it's not like I'm over there putting myself on the line and it's not like some of the Iraqis haven't acted corruptly. And meanwhile, our country is suffering with homelessness, teetering on recession, spiraling higher education costs, falling education standards in the public schools and myriad other problems that need money to fix. And I'm firing shots from the Ivory Tower across our government's bow because they're not acting in a way I have difficulty justifying even in the hypothetical.

I guess mostly this serves to reinforce my anger at President George W. Bush and the neoconfuckheads like Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. They seemed to apply a far too simple Right/Might is right calculus to postwar Iraq and for generations we're gonna be left holding the bill.

When I finish Chandrasekaran's book, I'll write more about it and hopefully someone in the world will read this and buy it and do something far braver than me.

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