Friday, April 3, 2009

Killing Joke

Gore Vidal has often said, usually with a shit-eating grin, that the sweetest words in the English language are "I told you so." They certainly are among the most tempting. Still, I cling to whatever softness remains in me, so I can't share Vidal's nasty glee in being proven right. Because once that's settled, what comes after?

That liberal groups like the Center for American Progress are solidly behind Obama's plan for expanded war in the Near East should be no surprise. Many American liberals, especially those who want to be "relevant," support war and empire and always have. That my old radio colleague Laura Flanders expresses some shock over this bald fact is a bit disingenuous, for Laura knows better. But her career is largely based on flattering mainstream liberals and taking their arguments seriously, so instead of calling libs on their bullshit, she must shake her head in sorrow, and wish that it's all a bad joke.

Anybody paying attention knew that the Obama war machine was rolling into town, and that countless liberal admirers would be waving flags as it passed. This is why critics like yours truly were kept out of election year discussions and debates about a possible Obama presidency, because few liberals wanted to consider what was pretty fucking obvious.

And now we're here, with our Father Leader ramping up for extended slaughter while lecturing those haughty Europeans about their "insidious" anti-Americanism. That Obama also mentioned American arrogance, something Bush wouldn't do, doesn't alter the point. He was speaking to a French audience, and his PR team is too savvy to engage in simple Euro-bashing. Obama needs support for the wars he's inherited, and must repair the US brand so it can "lead" once again.

Obama is a smart imperialist, unlike Bush, who was a stupid imperialist. That's a real difference between the two, a difference that countless liberals embrace and celebrate, even though the same people, poor people, people who don't matter, are still paying the lethal price. That's not a joke, Laura, and you know it. That's business as usual.