Boots on Our Necks
Candide's Notebooks/May 13, 2006
Whenever our Lord and Savior President is desperate for a boost in his public image, he dons fatigues and makes a speech, usually to a military audience (the only audience he can truly control, being its commander). But the speeches aren’t working anymore. The New York Times has him at 31 percent, Harris at 29, and the first Bush can now rest easy: his son has out-worsted him. Lord and Savior’s other ploy is either to invite a war (9/11) or to start them ( Afghanistan, Old Europe, Iraq). For now though he’s out of countries to invade, principally because he’s out of cannon fodder, and the fodder’s officer corps is none too dismissive of fantasizing about mutinies against its latest Custer. But Bush needs something military to boost him, especially after his disastrous half-pregnant vagaries on immigration. His solution: invade the border with Mexico. A plan is being “cobbled” together to send a few thousand troops to the border and have them play Minutemen. As always, little debate, little to no planning, no thought is going into the initiative. Just guts. But it’ll look like action. A-Team-sort of action. It’ll impress the idiotic among us who automatically equate a soldier with decisive action, a deployment with results, though by now, after Lebanon, after Somalia, after Haiti, after Iraq, after Afghanistan, not to forget Vietnam, we should know better: our military record in the last few decades has been somewhere between pyrrhic and dismal. Leave it to the Terminator to remind us what a terrible idea it is to involve the military in domestic matters. Then again he’s one of them foeyners, one of them fifth-columnist Republicans, as Ann Coulter will have him tagged before sundown.