Monday, November 03, 2003

George Bush as the Black Knight

So the Americans had their little immoral attack on the sovereign country of Iraq, based on a passel of lies which Bush and Cheney and the neocons still keep repeating; and destroyed the international law that had been carefully built up by fifty years of American diplomacy, not to mention the world-wide reputation of the United States; and the CIA bought off some of the Iraqi generals, and the obvious resistance slowed down; and Bush declared victory by saying that combat was over, but Americans kept dying or losing their limbs or their minds; so the White House website rewrote history to indicate that Bush had said that 'major combat' was over, and Americans continued to die; so he said 'Bring them on', and so on they came; and a sign of mysterious provenance screamed 'Mission Accomplished' at the AWOL flyboy who now disavows the concept, as how could the mission be accomplished if Americans continue to die?; and the disgusting American media insisted that the Iraqi occupation is not - repeat not - like Vietnam, and mangled the results of polls to declare that the Iraqis like being bombed and occupied, and assisted the White House in covering up the number of grievously injured soldiers and the third-world conditions in which they are hospitalized; and George Bush is somehow too busy to attend any of the funerals, and the coffins come in secretly, as if Americans are ashamed of their dead, again not - repeat not - like Vietnam, and the Americans continued to die or lose their limbs or their minds; and the Americans started to turn into Israelis, bulldozing date palms, and arresting whole villages, and putting hundreds - thousands - of people into concentration camps without legal representation, and treating them abominably, and torturing them, and not telling their families where they are or if they are alive or dead, with the Red Cross being the only group that tried to discover this information for the terrified relatives; and somebody so mysterious that American intelligence is completely incapable of discovering who - Baathists, deadenders, SpongeBob SquarePants, Syrians, Saudis, al Qaeda members, the Cat in the Hat, Europeans and whoever else you can think of other than normal Iraqis who love their American occupiers - is killing about an American a day, and grievously injuring many more; and blowing up embassies, and pipelines, and hotels and the UN, and the Red Cross, and aid workers; and almost all the international community (the UN, the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières) have had to leave; and just now the mysterious resistance is becoming confident, firing missiles right at Paul Wolfowitz, and finally figuring out how those surface-to-air missiles work, with hundreds more of such missiles unaccounted for in Iraq, and therefore many more successful attacks to come; with all of this completely unpredictable except by those experts who did predict it and were ignored or derided or fired (Larry Lindsey, General Shineski) by the neocons; and George Bush thinks the ferocity of the resistance means the Iraqis are 'desperate', with Iraqi 'desperation' soaring with each passing day; and American 'success' now being measured by the number of American dead, with presumably the ultimate victory occurring when every last American soldier is dead or in pieces; and he realizes or has been told that Halliburton and Bechtel can't operate without the security of U. S. military presence, and so repeats over and over the mantra that the United States will stay the course, and won't leave until the job is done, the job being to steal every bit of Iraq that isn't nailed down, and pay for the stealing with billions upon billions of American taxpayer dollars; all of which reminds me that George Bush and the neocons resemble one character from the cinema, the Black Knight from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail":

"Arthur: You fight with the strength of many men, sir knight.

(The black knight does not respond)

Arthur: I am Arthur, king of the Britons. (no response)

Arthur: I seek the finest and the bravest knights in the land to join me at my court at Camelot. (no response)

Arthur: You have proved yourself worthy. Will you join me? (no response)

Arthur: You make me sad. So be it! Come, Patsy! (As Arthur and Patsy start to ride past the black knight, he suddenly speaks):

Black Knight: NONE SHALL PASS.

Arthur: (taken aback) What?

Black Knight: NONE SHALL PASS.

Arthur: I have no quarrel with you, good sir knight, but I must cross this bridge.


Arthur: I command you, as King of the Britons, to stand aside.

Black Knight: I MOVE FOR NO MAN.

Arthur: So be it! (draws sword. A short battle ensues, where Arthur, relatively unencumbered by armor, easily dodges the slow and heavy strikes by the black knight. Finally, Arthur dodges a strike, steps aside, and cuts the black knight's left arm off with his sword. Blood spurts from the knight's open shoulder.)

Arthur: Now stand aside, worthy adversary.

Black Knight: 'Tis but a scratch.

Arthur: A SCRATCH? Your arm's off!

Black Knight: No it isn't!

Arthur: Well what's that then? (pointing to the arm lying on the ground)

Black Knight: I've had worse.

Arthur: You LIAR!

Black Knight: Come on, you pansy! (There follows an even shorter foray, at the end of which Arthur easily cuts off the black knight's right arm, causing it and the black knight's sword to drop to the ground. Blood spatters freely from the stump.)

Arthur: Victory is mine! (kneeling, praying) We thank thee Lord, that in thy mercy - ( He is kicked onto his side by the black knight.)

Black Knight: Come on, then! (kicks Arthur again)

Arthur: (on the ground) What?!?

Black Knight: (kicking him again) Have at you!

Arthur: (getting up) You are indeed brave, sir knight, but the fight is mine!

Black Knight: Ohhh, had enough, eh?

Arthur: Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left!

Black Knight: Yes I have!

Arthur: LOOK!!!

Black Knight: Just a flesh wound! (kicking Arthur again)

Arthur: Look, STOP that!

Black Knight: Chicken!!! Chicken!!!!!!!

Arthur: Look, I'll have your leg! (The Black Knight continues his kicking)

Arthur: RIGHT! (He chops off the black knight's leg with his sword)

Black Knight: (hopping) Right! I'll do you for that!

Arthur: You'll WHAT?

Black Knight: Come 'ere!

Arthur: (tiring of this) What're you going to do, bleed on me?

Black Knight: I'm INVINCIBLE!!!

Arthur: You're a looney.

Black Knight: The Black Knight ALWAYS TRIUMPHS! Have at you!! (hops around, trying to kick Arthur with his one remaining leg. Arthur shrugs his shoulders and, with a mighty swing, removes the Black Knight's last limb. The Knight falls to the ground. He looks about, realizing he can't move.)

Black Knight: Okay, we'll call it a draw.

Arthur: Come, Pasty! (they 'ride' away)

Black Knight: (calling after them) Oh! Had enough, eh? Come back and take what's coming to you, you yellow bastards!! Come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!"

All those American and Iraqi dead, all those international agencies in flight, all those pipelines in flames? 'Tis but a scratch. All those American soldiers suffering in intolerable conditions waiting for medical treatment, and all those who have lost limbs or their minds? I've had worse. Of course, neither George Bush nor any of his friends or relatives are going to lose any limbs, unlike the fodder units he has sent into war. Military medicine now saves people who would otherwise have died (thus keeping the death rates lower than Vietnam levels), but leaving their bodies, not to mention their minds, in pieces. With each limb lost, Bush has to keep up the appearance that he is not at all deterred by the violence. Here is where the Iraq occupation exactly resembles Vietnam. The American right is still convinced that it was the war protestors who sapped the American resolve, and thus made it impossible for the United States to do what it could have done to win the Vietnam War. The Pentagon decided to lie about that war in order to deceive people into continuing to support it (and the Pentagon Papers were the unveiling of this lie). Right-wing nuts, neocons, warmongers, and Republicans (not that these categories are mutually exclusive) believe that the occupation of Iraq will be successful only if the doubters can be silenced or ignored. The neocons are deluded enough that they still believe their apocalyptic plan to reshape the Middle East to put Israel in absolute charge is still possible, but most of the Republican establishment just wants to buy enough patience of the American people to allow Halliburton and Bechtel to suck both countries dry. Therefore, the usual suspects in the disgusting American media and the Bush White House are wheeled out to underplay the rather obvious disaster that the Iraq occupation has become. It is the power of positive thinking applied to war. Put on a happy face! When Halliburton and Bechtel have made all the money they possibly can, Bush will say: "Okay, we'll call it a draw," and turn tail and flee.