I wish I could laugh
but that joke isn’t funny anymore
it’s too close to home
and it’s too near the bone
it’s close to home
and it’s too near the bone
. . . more than you’ll ever know . . .
“That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore” The Smiths (Morrissey and Marr)
* * *
I’m supposed to be snarky here, I know. But I’m fresh out of snark.
See, the ridiculous circus that the U.S.A. has become in the last six years has just about wrung out every ounce of laughter in me. And the past week has turned me into a full-fledged, chuckle-free zone.
What did me in was the culmination of the events of last week with this morning’s headline in the Austin American-Statesman: U.S. to Monitor Blackwater.
“What the f–?!” I said. The Dude was reading the front page and it was the first thing that caught my eye.
“Yeah,” he said. “Our troops are going to be sent along with Blackwater security details.”
“Color me confused,” I said. “But why haven’t we FIRED THEIR ASSES!”
“This is why you shouldn’t read the paper first thing in the morning. It makes you yell.”
* * *
Blackwater has been operating in Iraq with almost complete immunity from any of their actions. Please explain to me the freaking insane clown-logic the legislature and Bush administration used to make the decision NOT to pull every one of Blackwater’s contracts, but decided instead to send our soldiers along with these asshats to keep an eye on them?
(Blackwater has been so successful in no small part because it’s a killer-for-hire outfit cloaking itself in right-wing-Christian mufti. The founder of Blackwater is Erik Prince, a fundamentalist millionaire who is butthole buddies with Gary Bauer. Lovely. ‘Cause nothing says “Love Thy Neighbor” quite like putting a bullet between his eyes.)
But let’s not be coy about this anymore. Part of the reason there’s a need for outfits like Blackwater in Iraq is that the recruitment levels are down and our forces are stretched to the breaking point. And the reason that military recruitment is down is that it has finally gotten bad enough in Iraq that no one can even pretend it’s anything other than a cluster fuck. (For those of you with a more sensitive bent, insert: quagmire.)
But let’s be honest here. Blackwater is in Iraq just like Halliburton is in Iraq. Because Uncle Sam’s money spigot is on and it’s time to fill up before the faucet gets shut off. (Blackwater was even in New Orleans post-Katrina. Please tell me why we had hired mercenaries policing United States citizens. Oh never mind, there’s no good answer to that. No, don’t even try.)
We have come to a sorry pass in 2007 when our cowardly legislators and BushCo will send under-paid, under-armed, over-extended soldiers to babysit thugs-for-hire rather than take on those well-connected thugs’ bosses. We might as well be pissing on the heads of those under-paid, under-armed, over-extended soldiers.
Yeah, and those of us who want to bring our troops home are the anti-soldier ones.
Oh, and Captain Bunnypants vetoed the SCHIP bill on Thursday. ‘Cause as if treating our soldiers like ass isn’t enough, we should make certain that poor children don’t get medical insurance. Because, you know, if poor children have medical insurance, the terrorists win.