The frayed threads anchoring the American government to reality have finally snapped, just at the moment radiologists are reporting that Americans are getting too fat to be X-rayed or shoved into any existing MRI tube. The gamma rays can’t get through the blubber, same way actual conditions in the outside world bounce off the impenetrable dome of imbecility sheltering America’s political leadership. Twenty-three years after one of America’s stupidest Presidents announced Star Wars, Reagan’s dream has come true. Behind ramparts guarded by a coalition of liars extending from Rupert Murdoch to the New York Times, from Bill O’Reilly to PBS, America is totally shielded from truth.
Here we have a Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who gazes at the rubble of Lebanon, at 600,000 refugees being strafed with cluster bombs, and squeaks happily that we are witnessing “the birth pangs of a new Middle East.”
Here we have a President, George W. Bush, who urges Vladimir Putin to commence in Russia the same “institutional change” that is making Iraq a beacon of freedom and free expression. Not long after Bush extended this ludicrous invitation, the United Nations relayed from Iraq’s Ministry of Health the country’s real casualty rate, which is now at 100 a day, probably nearer 200.
Iraq’s morgues reported receipts of 3,149 bodies in June; more than 14,000 since the beginning of the year. Senior Iraqis in the government confide that break-up of Iraq into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish enclaves, each protected by its own militias, is now inevitable. Iraq as a viable country has been utterly destroyed, with even vaster carnage coming up over the horizon, and here’s the numbskull President touting it as an advertisement for American nation-building at its best and inviting its prime minister to Washington to proclaim Iraq’s approaching renaissance, all in sync with the 2006 US election campaigns.
Here we have a Congress that reacts with outrage when America’s picked man in Iraq, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, states the obvious, that Israel’s attack is “dangerous” and that the world community is not doing enough to curb Israel’s destruction of Lebanon. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi rushes out a statement: “Unless Mr. Maliki disavows his critical comments of Israel and condemns terrorism, it is inappropriate to honor him with a joint meeting of Congress.” Another twenty Democrats said Maliki shouldn’t be allowed to set foot in the place.
Actually, I’m not so sure Congress is impervious to reality, particularly if reality spells out a threat of withdrawal of support from the Israel lobby in the next electoral cycle. The place is about 98 percent bought and paid for by the lobby. How these transactions play out on the ground was well described by Tom Hayden the other day (www.counterpunch.org/hayden07202006.html) as he explained why he felt it necessary for his political future in Los Angeles to stand, Jane Fonda at his side, next to Israeli gunners shelling Beirut back in 1982.