Monday, February 3
Waiting & Watching
John Liechty, Common, November 25, 2002

George Orwell said that political language is “designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable,
and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

There’s been enough pure wind flying around of late that more people than ever assume that what we are told as truth has been twisted to suit the teller.

..... As for the true motive behind America’s latest hankering for war,
one may choose from:

A) Oil; B) Imperialist ambition; C) Outright arrogance; D) Downright ignorance; E) A passion to spread Democracy; F) A passion to spread a smokescreen over domestic troubles; G) To generate revenue; H) To Make the World a Better Place; I) To trigger Armageddon (Oh Rapture!) J) To free the Iraqi people (who we have nothing against); K) To remind everybody that “one man isn’t all that important”, (so long as his name’s not Saddam Hussein); L) To please a cabal of hawks; M) Because Inaction Is Not An Option; N) Because it’s winter, invasion season in the Gulf; O) To take further comfort in the impression that we are Doing Something; P) To Finish the Job; Q) Because we can’t back out now; R) It’s what Jesus would have done; S) Because Saddam allegedly tried to assassinate a US president; T) Because he Used Gas Against His Own People; U) Because he’s been Stiffing The World; V) Because he chairs an Axis of Evil; W) Because if you insist on carrying a hammer, everything looks like a nail; X) Just ‘Cuz; Y) To show Europe who’s boss; Z) Oh… and Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Is it one of the above? All of the Above? None of the Above? Six of the Above?
Take your pick.On its way down to meet the public, the plain truth is shaved into an array of possibilities that leaves people wondering what, why and who to believe. Little wonder so many opt to jump on whatever slant suits their personal agenda, or simply say to hell with it. What to believe? – Nothing. Who? – Nobody. Why? – Precisely.

For all the discussion and debate on Iraq, the war drums have not missed a beat. The message the world frequently receives, whether inadvertent or intended, is: “We do as we please, we don’t care what you think, and we’re pleased to announce that there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.”

In his dismay at the passage of the Fugitive Slave Bill, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “There are always texts and thoughts and arguments.
But it is the genius of the man which decides whether he will stand for might or right.”

..... People around the world are watching as Washington champs at the bit to get troops across the Iraqi border. Pure wind takes on the appearance of solidity – there has been no end of texts and thoughts and arguments. Perhaps the plain truth will squeeze free one day.

Meanwhile, the world watches, waiting to see if the genius of America is essentially about might or about right.
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