|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|Spot the Dummy
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? email@example.com|
|And so it has come to this, the great question of our time: Do our leaders consider us imbeciles, or are they themselves imbecilic?
Ample evidence supports either proposition. Our leaders, focused on hallucinatory Chinese missile attacks and imaginary epidemics of pornography, marginalized the role of the nation’s principal counter-terrorism official. They ignored such warning signs as memos headed “Bin Laden determined to attack U.S.” The president congratulated the prescient CIA bearer of tidings of impending catastrophe for “covering his ass”. When the attack occurred, the commander in chief lost himself in a children’s story and then flew aimlessly about the country. His deputy retired to a bunker. Once fully recovered from their trauma, they launched a full scale invasion and occupation of a nation whose involvement with the attack was imaginary and hallucinatory. Their constituents would have been better served if they’d remain focused on porn and Chinese missiles.
In a new book by Theodore Draper, we’re told that Mr. Bush weeps copious Oval Office tears, a strange echo of his father’s plaintive cry, “Message: I care.” Even supposing his tears are not entirely crocodilian, while possibly providing some comfort to the president, his expression of grief won’t do much to restore the shattered lives and limbs of the more than thirty-five hundred dead and over twelve thousand badly maimed veterans of Iraq. To say nothing of their loved ones, the hundreds of thousands of similarly circumstanced Iraqis, and the four million Mesopotamian refugees.
In Australia recently the president claimed that in Iraq, “we’re kicking ass.” Unfortunately no one was at hand to put the boot in the presidential rump for Mr. Bush to experience the true meaning of his words. But the kicking ass position has its adherents. Presidential wannabe John McCain insists we make real progress toward peace in Iraq. All the evidence is to the contrary, but his view is shared by Republican luminaries like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Joe Lieberman. If they’re sincere, they are indeed imbeciles. If they’re not, they must consider the rest of us in turn pretty perfectly imbecilic.
Which takes us back to the original question. Our leaders are in the process of selling us the kicking ass in Iraq theory. Their pet general, David Petraeus, is appearing on Capitol Hill as chief salesman of the idea. Everyone who’s studied the question, from the GAO to the New York Times, suggests that far from kicking ass, we’re still engaged in the same futile game of Iraqi whack-a-mole. Violence is down in some parts of Baghdad, up in others. Since the escalation of troops started, thirty-five thousand Baghdad residents left home, hastening the process of neighborhood by neighborhood segregation. This fact more than any other has contributed materially to any localized decrease in bloodshed. Conclusion: we needn’t look further than the nearest mirror to find the imbecile if the Petraeus sales job works.
But like past White House advertising campaigns, the latest is likely to succeed. The president’s strategy of “playing for October and November” as told to Theodore Draper, of sufficiently obscuring Iraqi reality for long enough to hand the tar baby off to his successor, will probably work out for him. The only thing in his way is a sudden nationwide epidemic of intelligence and reason. And when was the last time we had one of those?
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A NOTE TO READERS
There was nothing new at The Nossiter Net between March 3rd and April 26th, nearly eight weeks. The reason: tech sabotage. Yahoo Geocities, the host for this site, denied access for the entire period. At one point, they even managed to lose all the files. In many discussions with Yahoo staff, no clear explanation was forthcoming. No one seemed able to fix the problem. Ruling out the possibility of Dubbya’s revenge, I finally wrote to Mr. Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc and described the ordeal the page had undergone since the beginning of March. A week later, a helpful Yahooo engineer named Jason called. He had my letter before him. Though he couldn’t do the repairs on on the spot, he promised a fix by the next day. That was April 26th, nearly two months after shutting me down in the first place.
The Nossiter Net apologizes, which is more than I can say for Yahoo Geocities.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2007
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