Stanley Crouch: A disruptive and bloody world
The world seems about to be disrupted on the blood streaming and being gurgled in the constant chaos pushed forward in the Middle East, as if Saddam Hussein was an actual spiritual force bent on reminding the entire planet how wrong he had been done.
The price was more than merely large; it was huge and propelled by the most impressive propaganda force perhaps in this nation.
The desire to crush the dictator and pretend he was an Islamic Hitler appealed to those wanting to be seen as retooled troops bringing off a Middle Eastern D-Day, with cheering people liberated from the grip of a serpent.
Hussein was a bad guy, but, as even the pushers of an invasion might say now, for all of his vileness, old Saddam kept things in order by tribal suppression of the others.Any who saw him smoking a cigar and laughing as he sentenced politicians to death will know why he was hated by those he pushed down.Yet the real question is, What about the loss of American men and women in the conflict this nation was conned into? Was the spending of trillions of dollars and all of the killing worth the lie about Saddam having hidden weapons of mass destruction, which were never found?At the time of the beginning war-drum music, Patrick Buchanan accused the neocons of trying to protect Israel from Muslim threats; they were part of the supposed intellectual advisers who had given much time to studying the Islamic rigors of the Middle East and could easily predict there would be hardly any resistance from the people of Iraq.Well, they and the Bush administration were wrong, terribly wrong.It all adds up to another moment for our ongoing civil war in which the union is federal, and the victims of Northern aggression are our homegrown confederates, men and women we can rightly call rednecks — if we liberate that word from skin color so that we can place Allen West where he belongs.The defeated Florida congressman’s job was to make it seem that he was auditioning for Fox News or seducing the National Rifle Association.Color means nothing to professional big liars in media or politics.That is one of the elements of American life that should be stood up to and measured.This complicates ethnic matters because we have yet to decide what they mean to all of us, since this is supposed to be the only country assessing human reality beyond bloodlines or wealth and power.But those endless troops ready to die for the rich and powerful stretch over mountain ranges.There is no such thing as class warfare, primarily because Americans do not actually believe in class.The natural history disproves its invincible power, as shown for their command of facts, not untruths.Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Thomas Edison and even Henry Ford and D.W. Griffith, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington prove how porous walls are to American talent. So does Kyle Carpenter, a recent Medal of Honor winner who grew up in a town of about 600 people in South Carolina, the state where the Civil War started.They all represent the supreme proof of how close we always are to great human meaning. We tend to believe in dreamers who can outlast their detractors and eventually rise skyward above all imposed limitations.The country does not even put so much stake in religion, which has been whittled down to the vast enjoyment of special effects, or the expensive way we can be fooled enough by toys, or, if looking for something more entrancing, our love to be involved in video games that give us a front seat in the melodrama we might win — just as we could have won a much more valid and durable effect on Iraq, had we believed more in time well spent than in instant gratification.As Eric Cantor melts out of power before the summertime force of voter disdain, we should wonder if all forms of big lies will go down into the conscious file of Americans who often win what it is necessary for them to win.Stanley Crouch can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.