. There are plenty of punk writers out there. One of them wrote
in to endorse Instapunk's rebuttal of Steve Chapman's call for "loyal opposition
to the war." He went on to add a personal perspective:
. . BECAUSE NOBODY WILL REMEMBER OR CARE . . . I was a latecomer
in supporting this "war" on terror. It seemed to me to be a lot like the
"war" on drugs or the "war" on crime -- just the most recent excuse to
expand an already intrusive federal government and run roughshod over what
little was left of the U.S. Constitution.
As things have proceeded, I am now
convinced that "war" is the correct term and my initial suspicions were
unfounded. It is within this context that I am astounded at the complaint
that the Bush Administration failed to prepare Americans for the cost,
length, and commitment required in this war -- see Miami
Herald from April 2, 2004 as one example of this oft-repeated accusation.
You see, one of my own earliest objections
to the Bush Administration was the (to me) overblown nature of its description
of the Islamo-fascist threat. I distinctly remember shouting out loud,
"How ridiculous!" when Vice President Cheney proclaimed in his most solemn
voice, "It is different than the Gulf War was, in the sense that it may
never end. At least, not in our lifetime" (see National
Review, Dec 17, 2001).
What the hell? A lifetime of war?
It couldn't be. I grew up at the tail end of the Cold War, in which entire
cities faced total, simultaneous annihilation with about eleven minutes
notice -- there were even debates about whether or not the impending victims
should be notified. What good would it do?
That colossal threat didn't endure
for quite a lifetime. I couldn't see how the 10,000 nuclear ICBMs of the
Soviet Union were a lesser challenge than a gang of angry Islamists who
have to steal whatever they can muster to throw at us. Even the World Trade
Towers/Pentagon attacks required the theft of commercial airliners. These
guys couldn't possibly take a lifetime to defeat.
Well, now it is 2004, and I understand
that we're confronting more than a gang of thieves. I know we're up against
some murderous unknown percentage of a billion muslims. It's become possible
for me to comprehend that it may take a lifetime. Yet according to polls,
the American people seem to have forgotten the nature of the threat as
it was described by the Bush Administration very early on in the process.
And as a nation, we're apparently shocked that it has taken more than one
full year to instil an idea that western nations have wrestled with since
Carta in a part of the world that has only recently emerged from the
7th century. Huh?
It seems that when it come to beating
the Bush Administration, any stick will do. Forgetting what has been said
in the past is the preferred way of redirecting blame in the present. "I
wasn't prepared" can thus become "I wasn't prepared by the Bush
Administration." Cut me a break.