Thursday, February 03, 2005

the sun king

When I hear an American soldier has died in Iraq I picture him kneeling blindfolded on the White House lawn while George W. Bush plugs him in the back of the head.

Last night Kent said, "Bush would never be able to do that."

And I said, "He could. Easily. Maybe he'd need a couple authority figures standing beside him, a Dick Cheney, a Donald Rumsfeld. But he would do it. And feel good about it. Day after day."

Kent had been watching a special on Auschwitz and was impressed again by the way ordinary men were essential to the running of the factories of death. He saw one interviewed, a man who processed the goods stolen from the people shipped to the camps, the man volunteered an interview to contradict the Holocaust-deniers. It really happened, he wanted to say. It happened and I helped it happen. Was I ever prosecuted? No. Few were.

Funny Bush's assertion that democracy is essential, that freedom is what America is bringing to Iraq. I don't believe him. He is no fan of democracy. He's not interested in it here.

Fact is, I'm okay with the notion that democracy can be/ought to be spread around ... that a benevolent military power might even effect positive change with guns. There are certainly evil dictators that need taking down. But it'll only work when the power that forces change is ... not stupid. Is truthful. Is generous. Is thoughtful. Is ... wise? Wise. That'd be something. Wise would mean such military might is used rarely and then carefully, thinking far into the future about what changes it brings -- both to the liberated people and to the liberators.

The American people in sending Bush back to the White House chose the sun king, the lord that feasts on human hearts ... in order that the sun come up tomorrow? And the American people decided his hunger could be fed with a few troops a day.

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