Saturday, September 29, 2007

They Love War The Way We Love Flowers And Trees And Small Children

War is cruel to the people who love it. Do you remember being in love after the other person has fallen out of love? It's not just a teenage thing.

Neo-Conservatives love War that way. Even after it's gone bad, they love it. They think about what might have been, if only...

They miss War when they can't spend time with it. If it went away they'd want to die. But they can't die because they don't actually fight wars, they only start them and think about them.

They think about War obsessively, wondering what they did that made the war go the way it's gone, but usually persuading themselves that it wasn't anything THEY did, it was somebody else who screwed it up. It wasn't their own lack of forethought, or their incompetence, or their weird belief that everybody thinks exactly the way they do that made such a mess of things. It wasn't the lives they destroyed or the fact that they enriched themselves. No, the fault belongs elsewhere. They were tricked or betrayed. They love War, so War must love them back. So why is it treating them this way?

It's always someone else's fault. If people had only listened to them. And if people did listen, and people actually did follow their instructions, and it still went terribly wrong, well, other people must have been incompetent. Or there were spies and traitors who made it go wrong. Other people didn't believe hard enough. This perfect war was meant to be. And no one should ever have messed it up. And anyway it wasn't their fault.

So, if God was on their side, and they were brilliant and correct and did everything right, what happened? God isn't telling them they're idiots, God is only testing them. That's it.

People who love War are not like you and me. They live in a kind of fairyland, a parallel world where they are wise and competent (and get to wear cool military jackets and boots and hang around with generals mostly, not enlisted men and women) and everybody agrees with them, at least everyone who counts. They hate the real world, where people refuse to believe what they do or follow their orders. Things don't go like that in the military. (Don't bother reminding them that they avoided joining the military when they had the chance.) The real world isn't a nice neat obedient place because other people are stubborn and won't do as they're told.

So why did we invent video games? Why aren't these people living in their parents' basement playing video games? They prefer make believe. Why were they allowed to run our country for six years and make such a mess of it?

The sad part is, now that we've got the controls back, all the blame belongs to us. "If you break it, the next guy gets to buy it."

This is part two of the lovely Neo Con delusion, the "con" part: they made the mess, but we have to clean it up. And while we're cleaning it up, and paying the costs, and apologizing for the damage, and burying the dead, the Neo Con believers will be inventing the legend, about how they were just about to snatch victory from near defeat, brilliantly and bravely, by remote control, if only the stupid Liberals hadn't taken their powers away.

And they will take this fairy tale around to all the VFW posts and war widow support groups and tell it to the people who lost limbs and loved ones. They'll tell it with one hand on the flag. But the ones they'll visit the most are the suppliers of military hardware, who will pay their new salaries, and pay to have their fairy tale published and sold.


Blogger c.harris.stevens said...

Perhaps the symbols of peace are only flowers, trees and small children because the person thinking of the concept has power over them. There is no struggle, and therefore no war. Find the common denominator.

8:07 AM  

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