April 02, 2003
Wishful Thinking In The War On Thugs

Since this war began I've been going to raed (though not lately), Hector, the agonist, the onion, other shit, and, you know, reading the Globe, wondering about this guy's chances; watching CBC. I've been watching Counterspin on a close to nightly basis, always flipping over to CNN during commercial breaks to compare and contrast. That's about it: those are my credentials for what I'm about to say...

I know for many Canada will go down in history as a pansy for 'failing to endorse regime change', but I've never felt more proud of my country. I'm terrified by America, but I nonetheless try to see the good in what they are doing, even tho I realize there may not be a lot of good in it. I want to offer my utterly uninformed predictions which are based upon my most optimistic and wishful thinking.

They are as follows:

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the Republican Guard will vanish or surrender (something that is already underway). It might be more sensible to predict that the war will go on without end until street-fighting in Baghdad starts sending home thousands of 20 year olds in bodybags, but I'm thinking it'll end suddenly, and sooner than the cynics predict, like, say, within a month. The Bush Administration will say "See, I told you so," in spite of the fact that they have done more to recruit suicide bombers and bring them to American shores than the most far-reaching of Usama's rallying cries.

Saddam, who apparently spent "Gulf War I" driving around Bag-daddy (tv's phrase) in a Winnebago, will unleash some deadly nerve agents during the siege, but due to difficult-to-predict weather patterns, the weapons will mostly only kill his own army and a few more hundred of his own people (who he would have ended up killing anyway). He will then go missing, and unfunny cartoons will feature him and Usama in a heart-shaped bathtub at Niagra Falls gazing lovingly into one another's eyes.

Shortly after his disappearance from the capital, it will be speculated by one Ari Fliesher that Saddam was taken out in the blaze that engulfed a relatively finite portion of civilian Iraq. Locating his body amidst the carnage will be painted as "a lot to expect". With this, "the democratization of Iraq" will begin.

Due to the vast amounts of oil that Iraq harbours, the US will actually make good on its word. They'll lift sanctions and use oil profits to feed the masses ("instead of building more palaces", the Administration will happily report). This kind of change might just be brought about radically, and more quickly than anyone ever dreamed possible. In spite of this, the Iraqi people won't like having Tommy Franks as their leader, and the resistance-- consisting of those most fixated on sex with those fabled 72 virgins-- will continue to apply pressure to get the US out of their country. Amidst the tumult, the newly imposed US model will start to strengthen their economy, and the rest of the Arab world will see the light. They will no longer concentrate their envy solely at Israel, and they will be hard pressed to avoid seeing that what has worked for the Jews can work for them too. The US gambit will pay off, and Arab citizens will take to the streets demanding to be Shocked and Awed. (Or is this type of speculation in too-poor taste?)

It will be revealed that there are no chemical/biological warheads in Iraq. Blue prints for such a warhead however, will be found amongst the ruins by one Special Forces unit, most likely shortly after having been planted by another.

Of course - and I'm going out on yet another limb here - watching CNN, and seeing how the attack on Bagdad is going, I couldn't help but notice US troops were arriving from the North, the South, and the West, which seems to me to suggest they'll be pressuring some to escape into Iran. So, you know, God forbid that I am right and this war does end soon, Americans might think doing the same thing in Iran (to further "route out terror", of course), or, you know, to renovate Syria, or reprimand Turkey, might not be such a bad idea. I hope to high heaven Bush cuts his losses and gets out, but some might say with all the troops they've amassed now is as good a time as any to conquer the world.

On a different note, I want to say that picture of the NY Yankees cap with the bird shit on it that was used to promote the Blue Jays' season-opener was NOT offensive. It was offensive when the Canadian anthem was booed south of the border the day after friendly fire killed Canadian troops in what-was-that-place-called-again?-- but a little Blue-Jay shit on a baseball cap is just typically inane jock humour. Loosen up! Personally, I don't see why anthems should even be sung at sporting events, but if they are, Americans should learn to accept a little booing as (a small part of) the price you pay for invading a sovereign nation. I hate to say this, but there's going to be a lot more booing (and from within the confines of the country) as Bush continues to scar soldiers while cutting military pensions, especially in light of shit like this and this (brought to my attention by the one and only Mareek!)

And lastly, tell me if you think I'm making too much of this please, but I think one clear lesson to come out of this is as follows: When a dope (Bush) is running against a statesman (Gore), and it's neck and neck, and you are the leader of one of that country's allies (say for the sake of agrument you're Tony Blair), it is wise to remain impartial. If anything, you should see that you aren't swaying voters anyway, and come out strong in favour of the dope. Reason being that if the dope's maladroit brother isn't able to fix the election, you can always tell the statesman that you were only covering your ass on the off chance that he was. A statesman will probably understand this. A retarded man from Texas who is constantly paralyzed with fear about his inability to reach the end of a properly-constructed sentence, on the other hand, will probably send Irwin Stelzer to your office to tell you that your country is about to get sold off for parts unless you do exactly as you're told. In this sense, I pity Blair, as I don't think he has much say. Were he to listen to the millions who gather on a weekly basis in his streets to protest his participation in this profound act of US hubris, his people would only end up being shafted economically by the States in a far more substantial way than any death-loving fundamentalist could ever bring about. Which doesn't mean I'm a fan or anything.

Anyway, here's to hoping that the US and British troops are not vulnerable in their rears. And here's to hoping that there's an end to violence in sight, and that Bush's plan is just crazy enough to work. Reading articles like this all the way to the end, one is reminded about how difficult and indeed unlikely Bush's success is in the face of Hamas and the like, but at the moment, contemplating the alternative to immediate US triumph is just too horrific for words.

Posted by at April 02, 2003 07:11 PM

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a
great crystal river. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to
the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of
life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But
one creature said at last, I trust that the current knows where it is
going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I
shall die of boredom.
The other creatures laughed and said, Fool! Let go, and that
current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the
rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!
But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go,
and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.
Yet, in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current
lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried,
See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the
Messiah, come to save us all! And the one carried in the current
said, I am no more Messiah than you. The river delight to lift us
free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this
But they cried the more, Saviour! all the while clinging to
the rocks, making legends of a Saviour.

Posted by: Party Poker on November 4, 2004 10:24 AM .
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