In one part of the country, the military is reinforcing the society, building things; in another, it’s breaking them — waging “major combat operations” that aren’t all that different from what might have gone down in 2003.
As I understand it, the “Mission Accomplished” in the famous photo at the right was that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” Dunno where I got that idea, since we’re still “waging major combat operations.”
This gets me to a point I’ve been pondering lately. Folks occasionally compare critics of President Bush to the raving wingnuttery that surrounded the Clintons. The problem is that Clinton Derangement was a madness induced by Bill and Hillary alone. People just didn’t like the two of them. There were bumper stickers on cars within days of the ’92 election saying “Impeach the President, and her husband.” People constructed elaborate conspiracies in which Bill and Hillary smuggled drugs and murdered half of Arkansas to cover up their massive criminal conspiracies, yet left no concrete evidence beyond a stained blue dress. In terms of administration policies, Republicans never had more than modest quibbles (to the frustration of those of us on the left).
Contrariwise, opposition to Bush is an example of a literary device known as synecdoche – taking the part for the whole. When Shakespeare refers to the Duke of Gloucester as “Gloucester,” or refers to a ship by saying “a sail!” that’s synecdoche. An English teacher in my high school argued that calling someone an asshole is “taking the part for the (w)hole.”
In any event, the point is not that I’ve got some personal grudge with George W. Bush. The problem people have with George W. Bush that his administration is fundamentally dishonest, and is moving this country in a fundamentally wrong direction. When I complain about George W. Bush, I do so as synecdoche, taking one part of that administration for its entirety. Similarly, I offer this one bit of blatant hackery not as the basis for the claim that this administration is wrongheaded and dangerous, but as small, even inconsequential, part of the whole mass of bad government we’ve suffered under for the past few years.