Monday, November 07, 2005

Two Quick Points

First: irony is not dead, although it was caught trying to hang itself in it's jail cell this morning, in Gitmo, where it is a "detainee."

"There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again," Bush said. "So you bet we will aggressively pursue them but we will do so under the law."

He declared, "We do not torture."
(What is tacitly unmentioned here is that if we legalize torture, then it will be "under the law," and the problem goes away. Can we stop pinning this on Cheney, et al., now, and blame the man who appointed these people and surrounds himself with them to this day?)

Second, this is absolutely right, and finally someone of national prominence has said it:

If the American public could see the carnage in Iraq the way television viewers saw the agony of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this war would be over. A solution would be found. Imagine watching a couple of soldiers in flames, screaming, as they attempt to escape the burning wreckage of a vehicle hit by a roadside bomb or a rocket-propelled grenade.
My only quibble with Mr. Herbert (and it is a very minor one) is here:

There's no plan for the war. The architects of this war had no idea what they were getting into, and they are just as clueless now. The war just goes on and on, which is not just tragic - it's criminal.
It is, unfortunately, precisely tragic; "tragic" as the Greeks understood it, in their plays. The protagonist is not necessarily a "good" man or woman, but one upon whom others must depend. And his or her failure brings suffering upon all those who depend on that person, who are usually innocent of the protagonist's crimes, or flaws.

The situation in America today is precisely, and classically, a tragic one. Unfortunately, it is also real, so there is no katharsis for us, no simple relief in sight.

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