"I cannot accept, your canon that we are to judge pope and king unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power....Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." ~ Lord Acton
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Much earlier today I stood smoking in the dooryard with a hot cup of coffee in hand. I watched the wind in the trees as a cheerful, unconcerned sun climbed inexorably in the chill morning sky. It occurred to me that the sun was totally ambivalent to the great American liberation of an intolerably oppressed people, currently commencing halfway around the world. According to reliable, televised, official information, our nation's finest young people are now nobly serving in the nascent military offensive dubbed, "Operation Iraqi Freedom," to valiantly eradicate once and for all that crazed, maniacal Baghdad regime, hell bent on total, mass world destruction.
A tank truck lumbers by lazily as I come back inside, one of many to be seen plying daily our neighborhood streets. These trucks distribute the vital combustible fuel oil that makes enduring harsh Northeastern winters tenable. I suddenly realize that I am rightly and understandably incensed that the selfsame regime that is undeniably responsible for horrible and untold domestic genocide and torture, and for destroying uncounted embassies and federal buildings everywhere, not to even mention the World Trade Center, should also directly cause my personal heating bill for this winter to jump to $1000 from last year's $600. Why, . . . the utter audacity!
Bad enough the innumerable crimes and atrocities this mad Hitlerian Arab is committing at home and abroad, but to hold humble and devout, common Americans helpless economic hostages in their tenuously oil-heated winter enclaves deserves no less than swift and sure military assault. America's sacred liberties and freedoms must be defended!
Turning on the television, I am confidently reassured by the Czar of our Blessed Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, and his staunch and friendly, square-jawed, Lil' Abner visage, as he outlines the latest national terror alert status and sensible patriotic instructions from his secure and impregnable command post somewhere down in the heart of the Homeland.
I continue to watch the unfolding martial drama on my trusted television in rapt attention. This coverage, after all, is infinitely more entertaining and a refreshing change from the latest sitcoms, reality shows, and hip-hop videos currently littering the cableways. I am smartly updated every moment by the taciturn and matter-of-fact image of Dan Rather, the venerable and trusted, brave, long-time CBS newsman, who has reported enough wars to know what he's talking about. I feel absolutely resolute and empowered sharing in the revealed underlying wisdom of our nation's justified, bold and decisive actions.
Our friend Dan's calm and lucid explanations of the various precisely planned and infallible phases for Iraq's glorious liberation''intense aerial bombardment, massive land invasion and occupation, and a generous and unstinting reconstruction''all inspire in me a renewed and strengthened sense of shared national pride and purpose . . . a deep satisfaction that in some small way I am doing my part in the glorious elevation of the condition of all mankind!
My soul is soothingly assuaged by Rather's steady, psychologically anchoring and comforting presence on the airwaves. I am informed, and now believe deep down that once the massive bombing is over''and the remains of the Iraqis, who regrettably must become collateral damage in their own liberation, are gathered and disposed of''the surviving and grateful Iraqi people will share in the Blessed Bounty of freedom and liberty as granted by our Creator and guaranteed by the benevolent and righteous, sword-wielding soldiers of President Bush's crusading, compassionate nation.
New roads, bridges, and power plants will be the order of the day. Scrupulously supervised, free, two-party, democratic elections will be held. Western style law and order and its attendant bureaucracies will be duly established, internal revenue gathering maximized and streamlined, egalitarianism enforced, and unpalatable personal small arms caches liquidated. Iraqis will enjoy a new level of officially inspected and certified purity in their foods and drugs. A strict national census and mandatory personal identity documentation will ensure the public safety and well being, and compliance with the new freedom-oriented regulations of liberation.
Iraqis will henceforth be able to enjoy modern abundances and the comforting security of a benevolent police enforcing all forms of legislated morality, altruistic random highway safety checks, vital and all-encompassing airport security, centrally administered industrial and environmental oversight, . . . and perhaps even a sparkling wave of new future Walmart stores in selected oases across the land. There is virtually no limit to the benefits freedom will ultimately bring these wretchedly weary victims of onerous medieval despotism.
After the officially estimated 12 to 18 months the liberation and restoration of Iraq will require, we may then contemplate the liberation of all other unfortunate peoples around the world from their rogue regimes!
God Bless America!