Earlier this week, while walking through town, I came across a young man who was pressed to the side of a bank building, as if he were holding it up. He kept tapping the back of his head against the concrete, eyes closed, teeth bared, muttering what seemed to be a chant or mantra of some kind. I tried not to stare, but as I passed him I glanced perhaps a beat too long. He stopped tapping his head, opened his eyes and asked me, "Do you feel it too?"
"The fear, man! The motherfucking fear!!"
"Umm . ."
"Yeah, I see it! I see it in your eyes! Late at night, am I right? Middle of the fucking night you wake up and it's strangling you. You need air. You know in your stomach that the bastards are at work and there's nothing you can do. All you can do is pace and dread what's next. Oh yeah. You've been there! I know."
He flashed a lunatic grin. "Because I'm always there."
I'm beginning to see his point.
Karl Rove skull-fucking 9/11 for whatever political gain he thought he'd get set off all the liberal alarm bells, bright red lights flashing at nearly every blog. Of all those libs wailing, Billmon at the Whiskey Bar (who I've added to my blogroll -- I know, very tardy of me, but I work outside of the lib blog circle) was the most penetrating, accurate and concise. Billmon sees Rove's humping as a fevered act of desperation, which I suppose it is, given how fast and far domestic support for the war has dropped. But Rove holds state power, and when trogs at his level get spooked, it usually means bad times for the public at large.
I mean, who's gonna stand between an increasingly paranoid, belligerent and violent administration and us? The Democrats? Please. This is where I part company with (most of) the lib bloggers who, while accurately nailing the war criminals and their apologists, naively turn to the Dems for back-up. Yeah, yeah -- Ted Kennedy called for Rumsfeld's resignation, but this comes two years too late, the average lag time for Dems to summon the courage to pretend they have a spine. I like what John Conyers did and is doing regarding the Downing Street Memo, doomed effort though it is (spat on and laughed at by the Liberal Media and well-heeled Dems). But Conyers is a back-stairs Dem, the kind the national party speaks about in hushed, embarrassed tones. If you want to play in the Beltway bigs, you must accept at some level the Rove/Cheney conditions for debate. Oh, you can scream bloody murder about Rove's political necrophilia, but if you want to be taken "seriously," then you must dissent on tactical, not moral, grounds. After all, the Dems don't want to stop killing Americans and Iraqis -- they want power. And in this diseased environment, that means you feed off the dead as well.
I suspect soon (maybe I've already missed it) that Hillary will be anointed the new Antiwar Hope, the same way John Kerry was. That they're not is beside the point. Both want to "better" manage the empire, to replace the neocon crazies with Ivy League technocrats. And of course they want to continue clamping down on us at home. In many ways, corporate libs with state power are even more dangerous than fundamentalist hypocrites. They know to say the correct things, to sound as if they're rational, sane. Meanwhile, the killing machine rolls on . . .
Fear on my part? Oh yeah. Definitely. How can any intelligent person look at the present American scene, from "left" to "right," and not be scared shitless? If you doubt my assessment, just watch about 2-3 hours of cable news shows. Doesn't matter which network, they're all pretty much the same. Just surf around and around till your brain is soaked with FOXCNNMSNBCCNBC rhetoric, till you can barely stand another quip, another slam, another faux smile, then shut off your set and try to think clearly. If the deepest fear doesn't force you to cut through the corporate-induced haze in order to simply breathe, then you either regard the dominant discourse as factual or non-alarming, or you've cynically accepted your fate.
My friend Doug Henwood recently posted to his LBO Talk list a brief recap of a Seymour Hersh talk given in New York on the 16th. Apparently, Hersh said that:
*The country is being run by 8 or 9 people, in complete isolation
from the rest of the government
*There's no grand plan in Iraq - the gang of 8 or 9 really believes its own propaganda about democratization -- he contrasted this with
Kissinger, who, though perfectly willing to kill thousands, would
have had some kind of grand oil deal in mind at the end of the carnage
*Cheney's in charge, and W's out of the loop
*They're going to bomb the shit out of Iran, but there aren't enough free ground troops to mount an invasion
*Cheney wants to run for president in '08
*Things are really really bad, though there's some hope for the '06 election
Then Hersh concluded by saying he was going home "to brood."
In fear, no doubt.