An excerpt from Vanderleun below
Four years in to the most gentle war ever fought, a war fought on the cheap at every level, a war fought to avoid civilian harm rather than maximize it. Picnic on the grass at Shiloh. Walk the Western Front. Speak to the smoke of Dresden. Kneel down and peek into the ovens of Auschwitz. Sit on the stones near ground zero at Hiroshima and converse with the shadows singed into the wall. Listen to those ghost whisperers of war.
Four years in and the people of the Perfect World ramble through the avenues of Washington, stamping their feet and holding their breath, having their tantrums, and telling all who cannot avoid listening that "War is bad for children and other living things." They have flowers painted on their cheeks. For emphasis. Just in case you thought that war was good for children and other living things.
There were children and other living things on the planes that flew into the towers. They all went into the fire and the ash just the same. But they, now, are not important. Nor is the message their deaths still send us when we listen. That message is to be silenced. The rising brand new message is "All we are say-ing is give...." And it is always off-key. Four years in and they are upset that their party of the 90s has been so long interrupted; that their raves are foreshortened; that their sleep is persistently shaken by car bombs beyond the far horizon; that their time at the mall can not be entirely, completely, and utterly without guilt.
Four years in and the clear and present danger to the nation must be closeted in favor of the unclear and distant end of the world if we insist on exuding, as all life does, carbon dioxide. Send the nation and its armies and its wards and protectorates to the block, but keep the polar bears cold. "Can't you see that worldwide wall of water sweeping in to inundate all life in 30, 50, 100, 500 years?"
"No. I cannot see it from here." "Ah well, you are a warmonger, an evil person, a vile Christian, a shameless, shameless American. "You must have shame. Shame is what we have when we look around us. We are ashamed. You must join us, share in our shame at being Americans, at being the last best hope of earth. "Join us and join the rising despair of people who, believing in nothing, believe only in the self, the life of the senses, the mollifying of guilt, of 'the expense of reason in a waste of shame.'" Four years in and the fools in the streets multiply. They are tired of the war, but full of themselves.
It is taking too long. | It will be with you, blowing hot and cold, for decades yet to come.
It is costing too much. | How much will it cost to rebuild a burned and irradiated Los Angeles?
Too many soldiers have died. Even one soldier's death is too much. | What is the nature and duty of a soldier? Is a soldier there only to come in and sandbag a flooded New Orleans? Bring you a Red Cross sandwich and a cup of weak coffee after a tidal wave?
We shall overcome. | Overcome who? Your fellow citizens? Certainly not the enemy. You'll not get over on this one with your Ghandiesque platitudes, unless you are ready to all go like lemmings over the cliff and onto the spikes. You don't strike me as the kind of people with that level of commitment. You strike me as the kind of people who like to prance, rant, and chant, and then go home for a nice chilled Chardonnay and a slab of grilled tofu. Then you spend an hour bitching about Bush before taking a bong hit and sucking up some MTV. I know you well. I was you.
We shall take our no balls and go home. | You will return when your children are slaughtered in their schools. You will return when one of our cities burns. You will return when your cities freeze in the winter, your beer warms without ice in the summer, your iPods go flat as you walk streets with few lights, and the shelves of your store are bare when the crops fail and the trucks cannot run.
Look around you. Everything you have, everything, is there because of oil. The brute fact of the planet right now and into the next few decades is that without oil, the machine that enables you to be you runs on oil. If that oil runs out, your nation, any nation, will do all that it can to get it back. And you will be back not "with peace, but with a sword" of a terrible fire. In your name. In all our names.
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