Friday, February 17, 2006

The Quail is Peppered, Now Back to Reality

Quote of the day, from New York Times columnist Bob Herbert ($$—trial subscription required):

"A vice president who insists on writing his own rules, who shudders at the very idea of transparency in government, whose judgment on crucial policy issues has been as wildly off the mark (and infinitely more tragic) as his actions in Texas over the weekend, and who has now become an object of relentless ridicule, cannot by any reasonable measure be thought of as an asset to the nation or to the president he serves."

Isn't it faintly ironic that the man whose picture you see in the dictionary when you look up the word "chickenhawk"—he of the five military deferments and that snarling brand of arrogant cowardice that so typifies this Bush administration—nearly blows a man's head off while firing at a bird whose name is also synonymous with the physical expression of fear and avoidance (the verb quail)?

But Bob Herbert's point is well taken: sure, it was funny stuff; but that can't distract us from the reality of the geopolitical murder, estrangement, and robbery for which this man, this Vice President of ours, is responsible. As I have said before, he is—far beyond his so-called boss—one of the most dangerous and destructive leaders on our planet.

Let's also recall that the war Dick Cheney is largely responsible for starting so mindlessly and perpetuating so disastrously continues apace, still flowing deeper into the quicksand of loss. Months and months after the first documented reports of Iraqi death squads appeared, a reluctant investigation is finally taking shape. Years after Guantanamo's ignominious beginnings, the U.N. is joining Amnesty International and many other governments and organizations in calling for the closure of Gitmo.

Meanwhile, as our troops and innocent Iraqi civilians continue to die, the oil supply from that country—the real raison d'etre for this war—is being lost, its flow obstructed at unprecedented rates. At the same time, Iran continues to nuke up while Hamas snuggles with Russia.

Is all this mayhem a mere coincidence—some geopolitical gum sticking to the Bushies' shoes? I would submit that it's all as much a coincidence as the fact that Uncle Dick will be facing no inquiry and no criminal charges for nearly blowing a man's head off. I wonder what kind of treatment we'd get if it had been you or I with the rifle...

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