Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Wolcott and me

Professor of Snark James Wolcott, today:

"It's no accident that it is the rightwing bloggers and pundits who have been avid about defending the use of torture against suspected terrorists. Nor is it an accident that many of them pooh-poohed Abu Ghraib, sluffing it off as no more harmless than fraternity hazing. But what their decapitation odes reveal is that what they'd really like to do is permit torture closer to home. Domesticate it. Trivialize it. Completely destigmatize it as a tool of the state.

I don't worry about this being actually implemented, though I worry fractionally more every day. I'm interested in it more as a pathological rash afflicting the more rabid warbloggers. It's a sign of impotence, this lurid fury of theirs. It bugs the hell out of them that those of us who opposed the war have turned out to be right. It thwarts the hell out of them that Ward Churchill still has tenure, that they couldn't convict Sami Al-Arian down in Florida, and that their latest purple-finger festival fizzled out so soon. If postwar Iraq swirls down the drain, they'll be looking for someone to blame, and since they never blame themselves for anything (a bedrock neoconservative trait), they leaves nobody here but us chickens. I dread to think of the imaginary punishments they'll devise for us appeasers, turncoats, and traitors; I'm sure they'll be quite vivid. I may have to quarantine myself from these sites to preserve my serene disposition. "

Your humble scribe, more than four months ago:

...all the delusional energy that these ostrich hawks had devoted to holding their heads beneath the sand is now going to be dedicated to a new, equally dysfunctional task – blaming the military, blaming the CIA, but first and foremost – blaming the liberals. As Vietnam repeats with eerie precision, and our military might is again worn down by an enemy our generals don’t understand and our foot soldiers can’t distinguish from the people we are supposedly protecting, the baffled will again seek their favorite scapegoats – those who committed the capital offense of being right from the beginning.

No worries, mate -- love your stuff, and even if I said it first, you probably said it better.


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