President Bush may be a headless horseman. But
the biggest problem is what he rode in on.
Martin Luther King Jr. had a good name for it 40 years ago. "The
madness of militarism."
We can blame Bush all we want and he does hold the reins right now
but his main enablers these days are the fastidious public
servants in Congress. They keep preparing the hay, freshening the
water, oiling the saddle, even while criticizing the inappropriately
jocular rider. And when the band plays "Hail to the Jockey," most
the grown-up stable boys and girls can't help saluting.
The people who actually live in Iraq have their own opinions, of
course. UPI reported at the end of December that a new poll,
conducted by the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies,
found that "about 90 percent of Iraqis feel the situation in the
country was better before the U.S.-led invasion than it is today."
Meanwhile, according to a CNN poll last month, 11 percent of
Americans support sending more U.S. troops to Iraq.
Buried in a New York Times news article on Tuesday (Jan. 9) was this
statement of fact: "By law, Congress can limit the nature of troop deployments,
cap the size of military deployments and cut financing for existing or prospective
Some Democrats in Congress want to hand the president his head and
some don't. But, as a practical matter, the distinction is moot. He's
in the thrall of what you might call a repetition compulsion disorder
that manifests as digging in his heels.
Obviously the president likes the wind in his ears. And he shows no
sign of slowing down. Bush can keep riding the madness of militarism
at a gallop unless people on Capitol Hill stop nourishing it with
appropriations. And they won't do that unless we find effective ways
to insist that they cut off funding for the war.
The key problem right now isn't the headless jockey. It's the stable
hands who keep feeding the horse he rode in on.