Took me a few days to figure out how I feel, now that Democrats have won both houses of Congress and Rumsfeld has resigned.
“Cautious relief” describes it best.
Relief, because the election proved that the people still have a voice in America, that American democracy still works. Our leaders, despite what they think, don’t have carte blanche. There are consequences for greedy stupidity.
Caution, because the Bush administration is both crafty and low. Forgive me for pulling a Santorum and using Tolkien as an analogy (something for which I’ll never forgive ol’ man-on-dog) but George W. Bush is the Gríma Wormtongue of our very real world. For the last six years he’s been quietly attaching signing statements to laws he doesn’t intend to abide by and crafting other laws that give him immense and malevolent power.
He may have suffered a setback with this election, but I can’t believe he’ll just sit quietly and watch the Democrats undo everything he’s worked so busily at for all that time.
And we don’t have Gandalf the White to kick him cringing and shrieking out of the castle. Instead, we have an immense, slow, democratically elected Congress that’s in considerable disarray at the moment. And the positive changes within it don’t take effect until January.
George “Wormtongue” Bush can do a hell of a lot of damage in two months. Watch him.
And so I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Rumsfeld was nothing more than a necessary sacrifice, a slab of gristly meat for the watchdogs to chew on while Bush and his henchmen sneak by them through the gate.
In today’s headlines on Yahoo.com, I see that the dark forces are already at work. The top one reads, “Al Qaeda crows over Rumsfeld.” All al-Masri did in his Internet release today was do some testosterone-poisoned chest thumping. This was not unexpected, given that an important – but wholly incompetent – U.S. official has been forced to step down. So why did the press give his hot air false legitimacy by using that headline?
Ask George Wormtongue.
The second is “Britain facing 30 terrorism plots, says spy chief.” Well, I’ve no doubt of that, but a closer read shows that those 30 plots are “major” in the way the shampoo-bottle plot against airliners last summer was. That one, as we know now, was by a group of disaffected British Muslims who had no explosives, no money and not even any plane tickets. Most of those arrested were released for lack of reason to hold them. It was all a PR stunt by the Bush and Blair administrations to strike terror in the hearts of American and British citizens. It worked until it started unraveling and we began laughing at them.
The one significant statement the head of MI5 made was that the plots under investigation are by groups connected to Pakistan – our “ally” in the “war on terror.”
Hmm. Imagine that.
Why did the British spy chief make that statement about terrorist plots thick on the ground? Ask Bush’s lapdog, Prime Minister Tony Blair. He’s been told by his party and the British Parliament that he has until June to pack up and leave. But Blair the poodle still has sharp, nasty little teeth. He won’t go without bloodying a few more ankles.
“U.S. death toll in Iraq at 23 for Nov.” I’d give you the link to that story, but it’s gone now, replaced by “Huge hurricane rages on Saturn.”
News you can use.
So. Twenty-three more U.S. soldiers have died in the last 10 days in Iraq for no reason other than to enrich Halliburton. That’s something we can lay at Wormtongue’s feet. “Explain why these men had to die, George.”
“Israel official: Strike on Iran possible.” This was Israel’s deputy defense minister, speaking out of his arse about a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities being a “last resort.” But Israel’s Prime Minister says that Israel is confident of the U.S. handling of the international standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. Of course, he’s a fool. We’ve already seen that the Bush administration won’t hesitate to use a “last resort” as “pre-emptive strike” in order to give itself false legitimacy and, incidentally, terrorize the world. And it doesn’t care what happens to the people of Israel, either.
And that is where my worry lives.
Yesterday, George Wormtongue spewed some nice, humble-pie, conciliatory lies about bipartisanship and had lunch with the new House Speaker-elect, Nancy Pelosi.
Then, true to form, he turned right around and re-nominated that diplomatic disaster John Bolton as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and pushed to have the outgoing Congress fast-track the law that would allow him to keep on wiretapping American citizens illegally, without a warrant on the thinnest of reasons. He also encouraged them to hurry up and confirm Robert Gates as Rumsfeld’s replacement as Secretary of Defense before the new Congress could stop any of it when it convenes in January.
Now that’s bipartisanship.
With Bolton, American diplomacy will remain sadly laughable, nothing more than threats and bullying. The warrantless wiretapping means Wormtongue gets to keep spying on Americans, and with his nasty new Military Commissions Act, he’ll just toss them in detention and flush the key to the cell down the toilet. And Gates, in spite of administration protests otherwise, is just that idiot Rummy without the blowhard arrogance. He’s nothing more than another shady yes-man, and under his direction, we can expect more of the same in Iraq and in other world hot spots.
If Bush decides he wants to attack Iran, Gates will make sure it happens. When it does, the Middle East will blow up and Bush will start using all those laws he’s perverted against his own people.
I feel like I’m sitting on a volcano. I’m pleased that it hasn’t exploded yet even as I listen, in rapt and horrified fascination, as it rumbles deep down in its guts.