Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Balloons In The Fog

In order to prove that he's no pussy, and to counter McCain's martial assaults, Barack Obama has formed a "Senior Working Group on National Security." Among the gang are Madeleine Albright, David Boren, Lee Hamilton, Warren Christopher, Anthony Lake, and of course Sam Nunn, without whom no Dem nominee can be regarded seriously. While many libs are spinning about, anticipating emancipation from the Bush era, their shining star steadily recruits known war criminals, Pentagon hustlers, and Beltway insiders, looking to hit the blood-soaked ground running come January. As Albright needled Colin Powell, "What's the point in having this superb military you are always talking about if we can't use it?"

Contrary to rightist mania and liberal fantasy, Obama clearly plans to use it. The only question is, how?

Some libs and related Obama-boosters inform my purist ass that their leader must make militarist noises to win over nervous patriots. It's pragmatic and necessary. I more or less agree. In fact, I'd be pleasantly stunned if Obama went in the opposite direction. But he won't and can't. The difference between me and most libs is that I don't romanticize what Obama must do as a matter of political reality. The word "pragmatic" assures self-described progressives that while Obama needs to look tough, there lies beneath the Patton pose a rational, decent core. Unlike McCain, who has fallen from liberal favor to become the craziest person ever to seek higher office, Obama will count to ten before unleashing cluster bombs and white phosphorus on civilians. While I do not look forward to Obama's first imperial steps, it will be interesting to see how "antiwar" libs react to Dem bloodletting. If the Clinton years are any reasonable indication, I think we already know how that'll turn out.

As I put it in the very soon-to-be-released "Savage Mules," Democrats and liberals should embrace their war-waging heritage. After all, McCain bombed Vietnamese in a Dem-sponsored war, so who is he to paint the mule team as pansies? Have the Republicans ever nuked anyone? Fuck no. That was a Dem special -- two for one surrender. This part of the campaign practically writes itself.

Finally received my copies of "Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left." It features this old thing, parts of which have yellowed and flaked over time, but at least it's now between covers, for whatever that's worth. At book's end, Hitch responds to his critics, in my case a quick dismissal: "Dennis Perrin continues to franchise his brief acquaintance with me into a career path, in which I wish him all the luck in the world." I'll let the reader decide whether or not I've turned my experiences with Hitch into a careerist franchise, but the "brief acquaintance" crack is of course a lie, as Christopher well knows. Seems he's adopted the Sid Blumenthal tactic of pretending that you barely knew the person who later turned against you; and since Hitch cannot honestly deny what I wrote in that essay, he must act as if I wandered in from the street, briefly crossing his path before dashing off to exploit our chance encounter. Makes sense. I'm too young to be called senile, and not important enough to slag for political/financial gain. "Dennis who?" is just about right.