Drone Go Changing Just to Please Me

Plus ça change motherfuckers, War and Politics

I never really believed in democracy. Oh, I believe it exists all right, just as I believe that Catholicism exists, but you won’t find me kneeling and waiting for the wafer. It’s the metaphysical claims that I doubt. Sometimes I suppose an electoral process delivers something fair or just or of human value. Sometimes praying coincides with the remission of your cancer. Let’s just say that I wonder how the statistical package would handle the troubling multicollinearity of chemo and intercessionary prayer.

Anyway, democracy and its advocates make a very specific and very weird claim. They  claim that through an electoral process, it’s possible to distill the general will of huge human populations into a series of practical applications. Let’s call them policies. You might note that the whole thing has lot in common with magic. Or homeopathy.

Well, another memo “leaked.” It says that the President can kill you. This in and of itself is nothing new. It might be fairer to say that it’s now easier than ever for the President to kill you. It’s the same old Tide, but now it lifts 55% more stains per volume. The timing of this little press release suggests that the main concern was alienating the President’s more fickle lefty followers, if such exist, during an election season.

In reality, of course, those votes are inalienable. What are you gonna do, vote Ron Paul? He said something racist this one time! And that Mitt Romney, why, he’d have strapped a 16-year-old to the roof of his station wagon!

Democracy proposes itself as a choice model, but it doesn’t deliver any choices. Ah, but the choice couldn’t have been clearer between Obama and Romney on domestic matters, you cynic! For all the evils of the American empire abroad, at least we got the ACA. But that’s precisely the point. In the guise of narrow distinctions on strictly circumscribed and wholly “domestic” issues, you get no choice at all. You can have assassination and endless war with federalized dental coverage, or you can have assassination and endless war with lower marginal tax rates and maybe a slightly bigger take-home paycheck. Either way, some poor Yemeni gets incinerated on his way to the wedding.

Burn After Spending

War and Politics

Christmas it seems to me is a necessary festival; we require a season when we can regret all the flaws in our human relationships: it is the feast of failure, sad but consoling.

-Our Man in Havana

Another reason I enjoy Graham Greene is that his bleak humor is so often prescient, proving the necessary point that comedy isn’t just the highest form of analysis, but the only form. He really could have written this story himself: two posh American dilettantes playing at playing at war, while the Generalissimo supposed to be in charge is bonking his amanuensis.

Actually, with all the awards dinners and jocular wine-soaked, clothed-and-skirted confabs, the thing smells just as much of Gilbert and Sullivan, but in Greeneland people actually die, and die horribly as a pesky side effect of human vanity and stupidity, and that’s the sad tale here. Two genuine American crackpots, experts on empires that have ceased to exist, got scam salaries from a non-profit DC racket and literally sent hundreds of Americans and god knows how many Afghans and Pakistanis to be killed, crippled, and maimed while the real officers were off porking a bunch of self-inflated, over-leveraged, Floridian yoga-and-pedicure arrivistes. At least Wormold did it for his daughter.

Perfectly, this article arrives simultaneously with its own publisher getting on the box to tell us that Chuck Hagel is insufficiently committed to setting giant piles of money on fire to serve as the Secretary of Defense. Really!

Mr. Hagel took a very different position when asked about Mr. Panetta’s comment during a September 2011 interview with the Financial Times. “The Defense Department, I think in many ways, has been bloated,” he responded. “So I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down.”

That’s being offered as a criticism. To even suggest such a thing is to be rendered unfit.

Well, the Washington Post is also a scam, the rump entertainment product of a test-prep rentier on the equally bloated American university industry, and there’s a great and ironic similarity between two scheming profs running a con dispensing advice to the generals and a scheming tabloid running a con by doing the same to the rest of the ruling class.

I suppose everyone will have to be shocked by this latest revelation about the petty venality of our modern-day Scipios, even though it’s the most unsurprising thing in the world. Talk about vanity. Our wars are nothing but, in both the modern and the ecclesiastical sense. The real long con here is on you, America. Your main man Obama is chucking your shitty retirement plan in the meat grinder while a couple of humanities Ph.D.s direct a quadrillion bones or clams of carnage halfway around the world. Your job sucks, you haven’t got any public transportation, your city is on the verge of bankruptcy, and your unpaid parking tickets have been reported to the credit ratings agency, making it impossible to refinance your crap mortgage. Don’t worry, though. Some dude who once expressed some mild skepticism about the non-personnel administrative expenses of the most lavishly, obscenely capitalized entity in the entire world may yet, despite the objections of The Potomac People’s Daily, get confirmed in some big-shot political job that you don’t really care about anyway.