Friday, January 21, 2005

This Time, It's Different

Over and over, we hear well-intentioned people claiming that the situation in Iraq is like Vietnam, in that eventually we'll have some type of national awakening from the nightmare. If you're one of those people, I don't think you understand - this time it's different.

It's different because in the 60s and early 70s, protest mattered.

It's different because members of the media were not afraid to embed themselves in the operation, and send back the real story, grisley footage and all.

It's different because the media companies were unafraid to show the pictures and tell the story.

It's different because we now have a hard core contingent of fringe lunatic, mouthbreathing howler monkeys that have been emboldened and enabled to spew their special brand of hate. That is the. only. explanation. I have for some of the hate and bile I read on sites like Little Green Footballs and FreeRepublic (and, no, I'm not providing a link). When true neonazi, white supremacist websites start sounding more reasonable than the snotballs or freepers, we've got a serious problem.

It's different because the vast majority of politicians cowtow to the mouthbreathers. Or the mouthbreathers have become the politicians (it's the only explanation I have for the junior Senators from South Carolina and Oklahoma).

It's different because the mouthbreathers have a vast marketplace in which to peddle their war making, jingosim, and intolerant ideology.

It's different because progressive activists are afraid -- literally afraid -- do you think for a moment that Abbie Hoffman or Jerry Rubin would have been blogging with a 3-layer deep nom de plume in 1968, had blogging existed then?

It's different because an intellectual view of the carnage has been supplanted by a neandrethal bloodlust.

It's different because we're too far historically removed from Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin to have a first hand institutional memory of what those dictators and madmen rained on the world - and why what this country is experiencing now is sooooooo damn close to what the world experienced in the 1930s and 40s.

It's different because, well, it is. There will be no peace accord or surrender by the "enemy". There will be no peace accord or surrender by the "imperialists".

It's different because this time, the end of the atrocities comes with a big bang rather than a diplomatically signed piece of paper.

Nothing, nothing short of that will get people's attention. Nothing. A hard fall's coming. I can feel it like the Nor'easter that's blowing into my neighborhood this weekend.