Thursday, April 19, 2007

Everything I needed to know about Iraq I learned on "Go, Diego, Go!" (or) Bobos in Paradise

I’ve been posting about war and politics, well, pretty much since I started doing the blog thing last summer. I had to look back through my own archive to check. There it was: July 22, 2006 – actually, it was the sixth post out of what (I had to check this, too) is now one hundred and six entries. “Saturday Morning, 4am.” A rumination on Iraq and our involvement there, which concluded with my attempt at wit: "I am SO fucked!".

And they talk about Faulkner and Joyce. Honestly…

I thought about this again yesterday as I posted to the gang over at Intel Dump this treasure: “But I'm also not stupid enough to believe that we're gonna produce anything worth the blood and treasure we're spilling in the Fertile Crescent. I don't see the point in kacking a Sunni Saddam to end up with a Shiite Saddam. So I'm a WASFer: We Are So Fucked.”

And at that point I realized that I have just plain reached a dead end and so have you, Dear Reader, and the ugly, soul-destroying fact is that we both know it.

Because if in nine months – one and a half Friedman Units – the terms of the discussion about this sad, benighted war have managed to go only from the first person singular to the first person plural…then we have caught sight of our own tail. We’re done. Our arm is in the mangle and we fully realize that we can’t reach the “off” switch.

So what does this have to do with “Go, Diego, Go!” you say?

Let me explain.

For those of you not (or not yet) cognoscenti of quality children’s entertainment, I will first introduce our hero. Diego is a hyperkinetic little guy whose job is described as “animal rescuer”. He is handsome in a cartoony sort of way (unlike his cousin Dora, whose frighteningly immense head always reminds me of a watermelon with eyes or a blimp in a wig), athletic and good and kind. He is a sort of grade-school D’Artagnan, swashing – okay, swinging - his buckle through the rain forest with his furry Planchet, Baby Jaguar. He is always busy getting various incompetent animals out of trouble; I was amazed at the frequency with which animals get stuck in, trapped on or under and endangered by natural objects. Why, you’d suspect they were animal actors who actually lived in Venice Beach and only went into the jungle to shoot a “Diego” episode, only to find the jungle has no safety rails. Curious, really…

Sorry. The Peeper luuurves him some Diego, se we both get to see a lot of Diego and his crew setting about getting other critters out of trouble. They do this using their wits, and cooperating with each other. And they always have to keep an eye open for the Bobo Brothers.

The Bobos are described on Diego’s website as a “pair of wild, mischievous spider monkeys…always causing trouble, setting traps, upsetting nests, breaking dams, or bringing down mudslides.”

Now it’s important to understand that the Bobos aren’t truly evil. They’re just greedy, and stupid, and like most greedy, stupid people and animals they don’t think about much other than what they want to slake their immediate needs. So when Diego and BJ are trying to, say, cross a river, the Bobos will take their boat. And their rope. And the bridge, if they can get it. They don’t mean to cause harm, but they are only thinking about their own, immediate desires.
Okay? Now, for the past six years and more we here in the U.S. have been ruled by a government composed of Republican partisans of one man, George W. Bush, who is very likely the ideologically simple minded brother of another man, Richard Cheney. Together they have been our national leadership through perhaps the most dramatic six years since 1941. And in pursuit of their goals, we have seen countries attacked, invaded and occupied in a war that goes on today, is going on the very moment you are reading this.

Somewhere; in a side street in Baghdad, down a dusty road outside Baquoba, near a deserted house on the road to Damascus a young man is lying face-down in the dirt. The muscles in his legs are still twitching as the brain that refuses to realize its’ body is dying tries to keep running, to keep living for just one more moment.

Somewhere in the low hills of Diyala province a ten-year old boy is staring at the ripped end of his leg where a moment ago his foot had felt the solid thump of boot on ball that he will never feel again. Somewhere in a hot, tired building in Tal Afar a little crowd tries to push a shrieking woman outside so they can wind the violated corpse of her husband or son in a dirty sheet to carry him to the hole where they can put him and the rest of her life in the dry sandy soil that blows across the plains of ancient Babylon.

None of this matters. Not the grieving parents, not the dead men and women, not the relentless ruin and merciless hatred that have made these dead, these sorrows. Because the people who are running this war – Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney and their ilk – have no intention of doing anything to change it or stop it. For them, to leave, to stop, is to lose. Unless they can do this in a way that gets them what they want. The way they want it.

This is Bobo logic. And Bobo logic doesn’t yield to reason, for the very simple fact is that is has no basis in fact. Bobos don’t know, or care, why they take your rope, your boat, your youth or your life. They simply do, because they’re Bobos and that’s what they do.

Sure, they may offer you something glib. But that’s just to make you feel a little less cheated. They are going to do what they want to do and nothing that you can do will change that.

Except. Diego and his friends know that to stop them, Animal Rescuers need to say, "Freeze, Bobos!" You don’t argue with them. You don’t debate them, or try to understand them, or compromise with them. You simply have to say:

“Freeze, Bobos!”

And they will.

But go watch the news. Go read the newspaper. We are all afraid to tell the Bobos to freeze. Afraid they will call us cowards. Afraid they will blame us for “losing”. Afraid they will release their bobo legion of vituperative, impassioned droogs and we will be savaged for our “fear” and “weakness” for looking away from the awful, endless, insoluble smash before us.
In January, 2009, the Bobos will have to go back to their bobo land of wealth and insouciance, and a new leadership will have to try and figure out how to get us out of the mess the Bobos have created. If they can.

I’ve tried to make the point that we’re in trouble; again, and again, and again. And again. But from the lack of comments, Dear Reader, I suspect that, like Diego, you have had other things on your mind, other animals to rescue. Or perhaps you have just given up. Or perhaps you have nothing to add. But I've realized that between now and 2009, there’s no more for me to say. I've said all I have to say. Nothing I say will change anything. Nothing I say will help. I'm done.
I still like to write, and so I’ll have more to say here, on other things and other ideas, both for my own introspection and for any those of you who want to read it.

But on the subject of Iraq, and war, and America and the Middle East, I will write no more.


Millicent said...

I think that I will try that the next time I'm watching the news..."Freeze Bobos!!" It's empowering. Tanksferdat.

But you should know that the next time I watch the news it'll probably be sometime in October 2007. I don't watch the news. Ever. OK...I watched it a little bit this week, only to try and sort some stuff out. But now it'll be off until, well, hopefully a long time. And, sadly, I get my news and commentary and photos from you. Yes. You.

So, while you may not feel like you're changing the world with your Irag posts, I appreciate them. And I bet a lot of other people do as well. I don't comments because, well, what else is there to say? It fuckin' sucks? I don't need to write that. Most people that read your blog don't write anything. That's just the way it is.

And I can understand why you might not want to write any more on the topic...but don't rule it out completely. Because, regardless of what your nose-picking public thinks, your writing is probably cathartic for you. I think you need it. So don't take that away from yourself.

Just my 2 pence.

Mrs. Vandertramp said...

I've got to agree with Millicent - your posts are appreciated and it is hard to know how to answer in any way that will change anything. It helps just to read the writing of someone who has knowledge and opinions and the willingness to share them. What's the answer? As a non-US-er, responding is a little tricky, but I do think it's important that these voices are out there, sharing alternate perspectives.

FDChief said...

I am humbled, and appreciative at the same time. I will try and come back and be an honest reporter.

I am going to take a break from the Iraq war and politics, though. I just don't see any hope that anything will change, or improve. It is grinding me down, and I need to just get away and stop fretting at it.

Thank you both for your props.

atomic mama said...

I didn't realize it had been so long since I had visited here... darn. Although it's late, I'll just second the prior comments and add my thanks to you for what you've been willing to dish out thus far.

I wept while passing by a group of veterans against the war at the big anti-war rally in D.C. in 2003. The perspective of a veteran is vital and inspiring...