Using Bees To Effect Vengeance

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Saturday, February 15, 2003
So as I write the DVD of Three Kings is paused. It's a great film, and obviously carries some resonance at this time. Watching it compelled me to read up on what ol' Martin Amis had to say about Iraq. Haven't found his comments yet, but I did run across ol' Christopher Hitchens', who has resigned from The Nation due to their anti-war stance and now appears to be one of the foremost hawks there is. Love him or hate him, you can always count on him to bring up some good points that you're not seeing elsewhere.

There seems to be a profound disconnect between media reporting on Iraq and how things feel on the street. I know I live in Austin, liberal oasis of the Southwest, and most of my friends live in New York, that European outpost on the East Coast, but practically everyone I know is against going to war. Not just the people I would suspect would be against it, but co-workers who do not seem particularly lefty, their Republican parents, the proverbial man-in-the-street. The recent New York Times poll confirms it as well.

The sheer number of people who took to the streets today was hugely impressive. I've never seen anything like it in my lifetime, and the absence of apathy is enormously encouraging (even if I find myself too conflicted to participate). Having said that, as I watched people streaming across the Congress Avenue bridge to gather at the Capitol building, I noted the signs with the blasted swastikas on them again. Drives me crazy -- I know signs and placards are not designed to convey nuanced political sentiment, but all Bush=Nazi signs tell me is that the bearer has no interest in persuading other reasonable people of his opinion, but is really in it in order to bask in the approbation of all the other people who already completely agree with him. Aargh. Besides, if you're looking for Hitlers, it wasn't Bush who gassed entire towns of ethnic minorities. If you're that much of an anti-fascist, you should be agitating for Hussein's overthrow, just as you agitated for intervention in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and other venues for genocide.

As the above ramblings (and all of those below) indicate, I am most exercised by what I perceive to be the pisspoor anti-war arguments employed by many, at least in the media. Maybe that's a strawman, and not where I should be focused -- I've given short shrift to my enormous reservations about the Bush administration's handling of this crisis. But as usual, I expect more of the liberals. I'm frustrated by the speciousness of much of the criticism, when there are so many cogent criticisms going unarticulated (by me as well, of course).


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