From Outer Space.
Incompetent actors, mangling their lines.
Props falling apart.
Continuity errors as wide and obvious as a blown bridge.
But of course, the this one is soaked in real blood, and is several hundred billion in the red, and this Summer Feel Good Cakewalk Shock and Awe Blockbuster Movie of 2003 has dragged on now for three and a half murderous years with no end in sight.
Our Iraqi Debacle -- by any measure -- is minting new enemies faster than IHOP cranks out silver dollar pancakes the morning after Hemp Fest hits town, and we are going to be living with sequel after sequel after brutal sequel for the rest of our lives.
All thanks to George Walker Bush, our very own Goofus Khan.
And yet in the range of 40% of this country -- some 38 or so million of our fellow citizens -- still hang on his words, and would vote for him and his sack of Hell over and over again given half a chance.
Honestly, I have yet to meet the Modern Conservative who can be persuaded by logic and facts. I know some old schoolers who have taken to the hills and are waiting it out – wouldn’t vote Democratic if their children were on fire and Harry Reid had the only hose in town -- but simply cannot stomach this pack of thugs and hucksters who have hijacked their Movement and their jeering, pinheaded mockery of principle.
However, Modern Conservatives not only don’t “do” logic and facts, but they’re proud of their stupid. The closest I usually ever get when I slide one past the shields and hit bone is the squinched-down look of pain as some cognitive dissonance depth charge goes off in their Lucite skulls like an RPG in a terrarium.
It is a look not unlike that of a man with a mouthful of steel fillings biting into an aluminum persimmon.
Over the years I have Manoleted around and around with thump-footed, tail-scraping Failed Men who fancy themselves Conservative because they can pronounce the word and listen to Rush. For hours at a time, at intervals spanning weeks or years, off and on, and beaten a few of the same ones to jelly over and over again. But when it comes to their utterly blind faith -- which is what their politics really comes down to -- they are composed of some kind of Magic Liquid Stoopid that can be frozen or slagged or shotgunned into individual droplets tattooed into brickwork and tuckpointing for miles around...
It’s not that they cannot be defeated -- Hell, Americans have defeated actual Nazis before -- it’s that they cannot be defeated using conventional, political weapons, because they have nothing but contempt for the political process.
They do not care that process -- that “means” -- is precisely what is most sacred in a democracy, because on a fundamental level, the Cheneys and Coulters of the world loathe democracy itself. They are the enemy within liberty’s perimeter, eating away at the Constitution, rotting freedom away from the inside out and screaming "traitor" at anyone who stands in their shattering path.
They are our betrayers, not in some narrow, technical sense but on a much deeper and more dangerous level because they believe in what they are doing.
Dick Cheney and Bill Kristol sincerely believes in total, winner-take-all war of civilizations.
Ann Coulter positively creams her Phyllis Schlafly hand-me-down Underoos at the thought of torchlit parades through the rubble of Liberal cities, carrying the disinterred remains of Joe McCarthy aloft in triumph, or running the streets of the world red with the blood of Muslims, liberals, gays and the rest of the usual suspects.
Jerry Falwell genuinely believes that helping to trigger Armageddon will be his Holy 401K.
And Dubya is a white-knuckling, emotionally dead dry-drunk halfwit with the attention span of a massively over-caffeinated mayfly who believes in all the fun, flight-suit-related bits about being Preznit and leaves the hard thinky stuff to Dick.
And every one of this Administration’s reckless, catastrophic foreign policy disasters has lurched us closer to the dreams of it's most ardent madmen.
With sneeringly dismissive contempt for sincere critics and experts, the Bush White House used 150,000 American troops to split the belly of Babylon wide open...and then like a child suddenly tired of his new toy, the Bicycle Chief wandered off and left Iraq to putrefy in the blazing Baghdad sun.
Why spend every last dime of the legacy of trust and goodwill we inherited from the slaughter of 3,000 Americans 9/11 and go into hock forever to terrify us into an unnecessary war...and then carefully stand idly by while it all fell apart?
Why commit hundreds of billions of dollars and the bulk of our armed forces to a war that only a handful of Republican fanatics wanted...and then let it rot?
Why lie so massively and so deliberately? Why drag us kicking and screaming into this shitmire and then take such a conspicuous dive?
Because chaos is the agenda.
Because the Four Horsemen of the Republicans now have exactly what they want: an entire region completely destabilized and spiraling out of control, and at every single fucking instant when doing the smart thing was both possible and might have salvaged some part of this mess, the GOP went out of its way to kick the world off the balcony and onto the pointy rocks.
Over and over and over again.
And what is that but purposeful?
Get any of your GOP pals 3-4 beers drunk and poke ‘em a little in their jingo hole and they’ll tell you exactly what they believe is going on.
They want them all dead.
All of them.
All of the scary brown people between the Jordan River and Kasmir.
All of them, sitting on all of that sexy, Christian oil, screaming at us in some weird language that we can’t understand about how much they Hate Us For Our Freedom.
Any halfway competent reverse-engineering of the events of the last five years can only bring you to one conclusion: this Administration has been playing to lose in the region.
Because they are trying to reconstitute a doctrine of Corporate Christian Manifest Destiny and visit on the Middle East exactly the same kind of slaughter that has not been seen since Europe annihilated whole nations and peoples in the Americas, and for the same reasons: For God and Gold.
"When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer."
And now that there truly are no new worlds to conquer, the Neocons must settle for the oldest of the Old World and bomb it and burn it until it passes for New.
They are eager Caesars-in-waiting who have carefully taught their pig people to despise compromise, diplomacy, horse tradin’, tolerance, and every other fundamental tenet of democracy.
These are weak and foolish men with more power at their fingertips than any Khan in history ever dared to dream of. These are the men who cannot be bothered with the slow, hard, patient, frustrating. transgenerational work of Peace and Civilization.
These are men who dream of Slam Dunks, Silver Bullets, Knockout Punches, Clean Slates and Utopia, and believe they now, finally, have enough throw weight to actually bring the wrath of an Almighty Christopath God down on the necks of millions to make it happen.
But to do that they need to sweep away the clutter of cease-fires and negotiations, treaties and peace talks. Instead of the heavy lifting of professionals and the very timbers out of which democracy is made, they see those things as pesky impediments. They see the window closing on their fantasies of empire, and so they desperately need to speed things up and lob napalm on the Mideast truckfires, not slow things down and cool them off.
Watching Bill Kristol right now being stripped and humiliated on Charlie Rose by Richard Holbrook I am struck yet again by how startling the difference is between a genuine grownup who has a command of all the sad facts -- doesn't like them, but can face them -- and a smarmy, sneering child who has never risked a square inch of his own tender flesh on anything more dangerous than a bad pedicure, and has lived in the stink of his own unchecked delusions for far, far too long.
Like virtually every Neocon in or out of government, Kristol is an infant who plays at Total War -- who makes it clear that he has absolutely no clue what he is talking about and yet is, at this moment, casually tossing around additional troop commitments in the tens of thousands (while Holbrook makes clear it would be hundreds of thousands), and then shrugs it all off as if the whole subject just too trivial for his Beautiful Mind to bother with. Because troubling himself to stoop to actually counting the cannon fodder positively smacks of arithmetic. Just so many pounds of bananas. Something for the help to see to. -- and sees statesmanship as nothing but weak half-measures on the slow slide to the Loserville.
A leader of the moral arsonists who keep beating the hornet's nest because to put across their agenda they must manufacture an enemy that can be marketed as united enough and terrifying enough to justify the global war that has been the raw material for every the leadership caste, PNAC and Christopath wet dream for the last 20 years.
The Republican Party has been are playing to lose in Iraq, because Iraq-as-failed-state and the attendant metastasizing terrorism that it will spawn with give them what they really want.
A predicate for their Final Solution to the Muslim Problem.