Ink Soup: THE POST (IRAQ) WAR BLUES
by Clarence Brown
American Reporter Correspondent
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia. 10 April, 2005 -- Thanks again to Canada for providing refuge, as it has so often done!
Why I go on writing this column I'll never know. Pure habit. For there's no paper to print it, even if the means - the good old means like E-mail and the postal system - still existed to get it to the paper. Not even Canada Post! Or Postes Canada.
And when I say there's no paper to print it, I don't mean the newspaper only - I mean paper itself. Who would have thought that this ancient Chinese invention would vanish? A Post-It note might be the Rosetta Stone of the future, if there is a future.
But I go on, because after a while a periodical column becomes, not the end result of thinking, but a way of thinking itself. How do I know what I think until I see what I write? Thank you, little girl, whom I cannot acknowledge in the absence of Google, to say nothing of the Enc. Brit. Your quip was never truer than today.
Thinking seems thin on the ground at the top echelons of world power, whatever that phrase means in the aftermath of World War III. Or I should say Orld Ar III, if only to placate those Americans who so despised that pathetic idiot Dubya for getting us into this mess that they decided to eliminate the 23rd letter of the alphabet altogether and rite ithout it.
The logic was this, to begin with. Saddam Hussein, that evil clown, meant to blow us all to Kingdom Come with weapons that he was rumored, on the best authority, that of the grape vine, to possess.
Who was Saddam Hussein? He was the leader of a militantly atheistic group who, after seizing power in Iraq, suddenly found it expedient to be photographed prostrate in prayer to the Allah at whose existence he had scoffed. One of his techniques of governance was to use poison gas on those of his own people who became uppity. Nice man.
So naturally we had to stop this, right? How? By throwing armies of young people, backed by the very best propaganda writers and photogs, to say nothing of tons of dollars, many of these actually donated in a spasm of patriotism by those rich people to whom Dubya had given relief from many forms of irritating taxation.
But what do I know? I am like most of my fellow humans, out of my depth. What is left of our former world is a matter of tiny private transactions. I fed the cat of the lady next door. She picked up my cane when I nearly fell trying to come up the stair. Random acts of kindness.
No one knows what is happening in the world. Planes fly over. Whose? The water runs for only an hour a day.
One thing is sure. Iraq is no longer a threat to world peace. Saddam had himself photographed in the Oval Office, wearing his idiotic Homburg and sporting an automatic weapon.
It surprised no one when he hanged his old enemy the first Bush, and of course Dubya. Hanging Jeb seemed an afterthought. But talk about your regime changes!
Meanwhile, up here in Halifax, Nova Scotia - the Anti-Seattle - we are hoping for the best: that the UN, from its new home in Baghdad, will come up with something better than war. That was the original idea, wasn't it? Don't hold your breath. I'm holding my breath, but if no one breathes, what's the point?
Clarence Brown is a cartoonist, writer, and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Princeton University.