RANGER AGAINST WAR: Where There's Hope, There's War <

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Where There's Hope, There's War

Watching an old Jack Paar episode last night hatched the following thought: We can never win in Iraq and Afghanistan because we've lost our distinctive sense of humor, and with it, all perspective of what we are as Americans.

Historically, Americans were self-deprecating and iconoclastic.
We've become flip and brazen. We laugh at everybody and everything in a withering sense, but we used to be able to laugh at ourselves. Can you imagine Adolph Hitler, Stalin, Franco, Pinochet, Noreiga, or Saddam telling a joke? None of them lightened up, and they're gone--losers all! (Watch out, Kerry.)

I read the fairly grim exhortations of some Iraqis--"We haven't had enough of your blood yet," taunts Abu Ayyaub al-Masri yesterday; his version of "bring it on," and "we'll kick your asses," I s'pose. But when we engage on this level, we have lost sight of fighting as a means, rather than an end. And of course, the reason is that we have not defined an end, other than the narrow one of corporate hegemony--an end which the Iraqis loathe.

During WWII, Korea and Vietnam, Bob Hope toured all theatres of operation bringing his snappy humor skewering the President as Commander in Chief, the Generals and the entire chain of command. And the men hooted, laughed and were happy, even if for a moment. Hope was brought to the battlefield, hope and a joke. Not a hope and a prayer.

Our leadership can no longer bring us hope, and we're way beyond a prayer.


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