THOLOS OF ATHENA

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

WHAT'S NEXT? by Grayson Harper

Why do I get the feeling that the next big catastrophe, i.e., war, invasion, etc., will take place sometime during or slightly before the next election cycle? And why do I get the feeling that this war, this invasion, this attack, or whatever it will be, will be provoked by us, whether it's the U.S. attacking someone, or someone attacking the U.S.?

Perhaps it will be Iran moving on our troops in Iraq while they're still sitting across the border, vulnerable to attacks from almost anybody. We may consider Iran already provoked into defending its borders by our threatening language and acts of aggression in the region. They certainly have been made aware that they're on our invasion hit list.

Or maybe Korea will do something--also substantially provoked by our clueless leaders, every one of whom, from the Prez, to Rumsfeld, to Wolfowitz, to Rove, to Condi Rice, seem willing and ready to "do war" at the drop of a ten-gallon hat. Even perhaps nuclear war. Whoopee!

No doubt many red-blooded Americans couldn't care less that they were lied to about the justifications for the present invasion and occupation. The reasons for that, I believe, are 1) they just love war, regardless of the reasons; and 2) they especially love war if the right groups of people are being annihilated. Again, justification is a mere formality. In which case, your good old back alley lie is at least as good as the truth. And maybe better.

But there is a growing list of Americans of a more "treasonous" stripe, to paraphrase Ann Coulter, who are not quite so comfortable with being lied to by their elected (or not-so-elected) leaders. That list includes members of Congress and Democratic candidates for President. I suspect this may be causing some discomfort for Team Bush, particularly Karl Rove. As the election process heats up, I doubt they are going to want this foul hunk of fish repeatedly tossed back on their plate, stinking up their message of patriotism, God, family values, and so on.

Which is why I'm putting my money on the wild card. Catastrophe! Team Bush is going to need something big, something climactic, to fog up the mental landscape once again, to get everybody off the word, "liar," and back onto the word, "hero."

G.W. was nowhere before 9/11 set him on a golden pedestal. Next thing we knew, he was making his made-for-TV landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Can the magic work again? Who knows? But so far, this bunch has shown a remarkable facility for taking rotten meat and making it look good enough to eat.

So. War, Famine, Pestilence. . . What's next?

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