[Laura Dern digs elbow-deep in a pile of triceratops shit]David Brooks circles the categorical imperative like a turd in a toilet, but will not flush. Is Obama, in Afghanistan, acting only according to maxim that he can will into universal law? Yuuuuuhhhhh, Dave don't know. But he suspects not. In a Friedmanesque turn of phrase, he diagnoses the dilemma: "a determination vacuum." Well, sure. Or a mineshaft gap. The point, ladies, is that while Obama's mind grasps the probability cloud of the newly re-coined AfPak conflict like a goddamn quantum computer, he lacks the will. The tenacity. The stick-to-it-ive-ness. That certain je ne sais quoi. He is not Lincoln. Not Churchill. He is one of us, only, pure prose. Or, no, that was Lowell describing Mussolini. What day is this?
JEFF GOLDBLUM: She's . . . tenacious.
SAM NEILL: You have no idea.
Lost in the fester of words is one of those gloriously, unintentionally telling sentences that pop out of ruling class from time to time, like a prom-night dumpster baby:
It would be shameful to deploy more troops only to withdraw them later.Yuuuuuuhhhh, Dave? Uh, you think you might want some kind of limiting clause in there? Some kind of sunset on the later. Oh well. As another famous American Lowell once wrote, Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne.
Of course we are all used to American journos and politicians spouting off about Will with more regularity than a gathering of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Perhaps that is not a coincidence. Anyway, the idea that our borderlands messing-about in Asia is best understand as a recapitulation of World War II (Churchill) or, even more absurdly, our American Civil War (Lincoln) evinces a dissociative confusion that one rarely encounters outside of a deep Ketamine binge. Perhaps the various Roman campaigns in Gaul and Britain would be more instructive, less totally insane as comparisons. The American psyche requires each conflict be puffed into a world-ending struggle against the Darkness lest we lost our shiny self-image as the world's greatest repository of peace-lovers. Ever.
More honestly and accurately viewed, Obama can afford . . . how did Cheney put it? To dither. Indeed, that may very well be the point.