mercoledì, gennaio 10, 2007

Just shooting into the jungle

The F-word is working two jobs and I'm - as I am. We're shit tired whenever we see each other, and prone as possible. Last night when I got home around ten he was upset about U.S. strikes on Somalia. I was upset too, but figured the best way to distract him from his tiring outrage (because now, we dream - beyond dreaming of sleep or rest - of not fucking being tired anymore) was to talk about how stupid it was from a strategic point of view, how excessively and appallingly stupid it is to think you can target some few dozen people usefully with an aeroplane.

Because once the moral outrage takes over it's too easy to visualize what's happening to Somalians for the worst possible reasons. Getting invaded and then blown up so some peice of crap administration in a poorly educated country far, far away can still have the cosmetic appearance of pursuing the group that blew some of its shit up in 2001. Even talking about the crashingly stupid uselessness of it all is demoralizing, though; there's no way the decision-makers involved weren't fully aware of that stupidity and uselessness and decided to go ahead anyways. So cynical, so cosmetic, so fucking evil. Luckily we were tired enough last night to avoid thinking about that.

I've never really reckoned myself a pacifist, but the posing aspect of war - the bit, to be frank, that would not be allowed if women ran the world - makes me hate the people who wage it. And I'm not talking about what you have to do psychologically to the enemy, I'm talking about what you have to do psychologically to your own people and to your allies to keep them convinced you're on the right track. Churchill keeping Stalin in the war by having all those Canadians slaughtered at Dieppe, for example. The United States dropping nuclear bombs on a bunch of beaten Japanese to make Stalin play nicer in the division of the Western Front. Getting popular support for the invasion of Iraq by pretending it had nuclear bombs and international terrorists.

If Americans fall for this one too, they're putting themselves right into Stalin's class. And then the velvet trap of America-hating I somehow managed to avoid despite years of seeing them as tourists in Paris (surely one of the least flattering ways to see any nationality) is going to be irresistable.

16 commenti:

Sugarplum ha detto...

It's all so exhausting being informed and powerless, isn't it?!

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

It's better than the alternative, I guess.

Sugarplum ha detto...

And I also wanted to mention that this didn't go through Congress so there is a certain amount of uproar over this happening without consent of the people. I don't think Americans are listening to the spin anymore.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Let's fucking hope.

Melbine ha detto...

I was pretty shocked when I found out about this yesterday. I'm so glad to hear that there's some uproar by the American public..man, that election is still almost 2 years away!!

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Yeah. Well, if the uproar goes away before the air strikes do, I'll have to start hating them, and then I'll be a bigot. Thanks-a-fucking lot, America.

Sugarplum ha detto...

Just remember that 49% of Americans are as frustrated as you are. That number is growing.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I keep telling myself that, Sugar, and the expats in my acquaintance usually are. And I tell myself, they have one the most miserably unrepresentative "functioning" democracies I've ever heard of, so you can't blame them for the shitty things their government does.

But frankly, since the re-destruction of Lebanon this summer that hasn't been cutting it for me anymore. People were demonstrating here about that - on both sides, but for the Lebanese too. Were they demonstrating in the States? If they were, it wasn't hitting the news properly. If the dissent is really all that there, dissenters need to make more noise. They need to *see* they need to make more noise. Late night talk shows are only good for so much.

Sugarplum ha detto...

The Americans that I know don't think that protesting makes any difference. It doesn't seem to and it makes them feel like a whack job. Any dissention that exists isn't shown on the major news corporations because that would look bad. The news is owned by the same people who are running the country. That is how Bush won the first election. Fox news declared him a winner, everyone else soon followed suit, one thing led to another and it was over. Have you seen Outfoxed? (http://www.outfoxed.org/)

People are speaking out but it isn't in the traditional way because those ways don't work anymore.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Sugar, I know that point of view and I abhor it. American media - Fox especially but not only - trained Americans to think protesting makes them look like whack jobs. That's fucking bullshit and they're foolish if they believe it.

Protesting is about a communication with the government, not about Bill O'Reilly or some other stupid televised fuck saying nice things about you. It's about warning the government that people are restive and forcing them to respond. If that's stopped working, it's because Americans aren't demonstrating enough.

And what they've been doing instead - laughing at Comedy Central, forwarding fucking internet petitions and waiting for the next election while thousands of people die - hasn't been working all that well either.

Sugarplum ha detto...

True. We're all complacent. Canadians are complacent because it is our naive and uneducated neighbours who are doing the killing but we aren't doing anything to stop it. The Liberals didn't speak up and now we elected the Conservatives who are even less likely to speak up - being warmongers themselves. It is easy to hate the Americans - it is a big part of our culture - but it is more useful to look more closely at ourselves and to demand something from our leaders.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I don't completely agree with you. The Liberals did speak up, particularly about Iraq, in a way that costed Canada money but in a way that reflected the will of the people. I'm also going to hazard a guess his stance on Iraq was what costed Ignatieff the leadership far more than being "snotty" or Quebec-nationy; the Liberal base of voters couldn't support that and I'm glad the party understood that. And if we hadn't had the craptacular Mr. Harper in power, I don't think this country would have stood so idly nodding as Lebanon got bombed - even the Liberals sank their teeth into that, as did the NDP and the Bloc.

We may all be too complacent - I agree with that, and Canada has lots of domestic and international issues that should be more public and more discussed than they are. I would also agree that historically, anti-Americanism has been used as a way to distract us or to make us feel better about ourselves.

Here's the thing, Sugar - at this point, the American administration has made itself so revolting that anti-Americanism could start becoming part of what would make for a better Canadian administration.

Sugarplum ha detto...

You're right about Ignatieff. And maybe the Liberals would have said something about the bombing in Lebanon (although it is easy to speak out when you're an opposition party) but what about Darfur? And countless other wars against civilians? The Liberals did a good job of speaking out against the war in Iraq but we have allowed our economy to be so closely tied to the US's that it is difficult to argue with them and that is our problem. One that we should be fixing before the US economy goes any further into debt.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

That is a big, big problem of ours - both the way our economy is tied to America's and the way Canada invests in other countries.

I do wonder why there hasn't been more stink about Darfur in particular from any of the adminstrations concerned here, and I'd imagine it has something to do with mining contracts - Canada can be quite good at making stinks when there's no contracts involved . . . or a possible contract involved.

Sugarplum ha detto...

Canada has some REALLY bad links to mining. Naughty, naughty links.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Yeah. In Mongolia right now. In a way I don't like. I really like Mongols. Did you know Mongolia was the first non-monarchical government to have a woman as the official head of state?