FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Marley’s List for Santa in Wartime

Back in my tadpole days, sometime in the Pleistocene, my fellows at Roehm Junior High (Frederick, not Ernst) enjoyed hanging the name of “Scrooge” around my neck. Whether or not they did so in response to my “Bah! Humbug” attitude toward Christmas (“Angels we have heard on high, telling us go out and buy”), I do not now recall. I do remember with perfect clarity my invariable reply: “Bah! Humbug” attitude toward Christmas (“Angels we have heard on high, telling us go out and buy”), I do not now recall. I do remember with perfect clarity my invariable reply: “Scrooge? Scrooge? How dare you call me Scrooge! Scrooge was a weakling. Scrooge gave in – to all that poppycock about Tiny Tim and Christmas goose for common clerks. I assure you, I am no Scrooge. I’m Marley.”

As I sat by my fireside the other evening, smoking my pipe, drinking a bottle of old Port and occasionally kicking the cat, I thought again about my exemplar, Jacob Marley. What would Marley have made of the colossal mess that Bush, Cheney & Co., have pulled us into? Then it came to me: Marley’s Christmas list! Out of the stony cockles of his hard old heart, Marley would have known what each and every dramatis personae deserved. I suspect Marley’s list for Santa might go something like this:

* For President George W. Bush, a slightly nicer hole than Saddam’s, to hide in once the American people figure out that he started two wars, and lost both.

* For Dick Cheney, a late night visit from the ghost of Colonel John Boyd, whose briefings Mr. Cheney heard and whose wisdom he totally ignored in whooping it up for war with Iraq. Also, at least one foreign policy advisor who is not a neo-con.

* For the neo-cons themselves, those wonderful people who believe in promoting democracy on the tips of American bayonets, Robespierre bobble-heads for one and all. Also, their children get drafted and sent to Iraq for the duration. * For secretary of State Powell, a small desk plaque that reads, “There is no position more difficult than that of minister to an idiot king.”

* For Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, a portrait of Robert McNamara, to sit on his desk as a reminder that we’ve been down this road before (“Metrics, give me metrics, stout-hearted metrics…”).

* For Condi Rice, the title that goes with her duties: concierge.

* For Pompey, alias Mr. Wolfowitz, some clean underwear to replace that “lost” at the al Rashid hotel.

* For the U.S. Navy, complete irrelevance to future war, plus plans for the F-18Z to fill all those carrier deck spots in the year 2104.

* For the U.S. Air Force, status of “worse than useless” for future war, plus F-22s to shoot down Taliban flying carpets.

* For the U.S. Army, hope that the new chief may be the Army’s Al Gray.

* For the United State Marine Corps, the ultimate —- sandwich, in the form of orders back to Iraq in the spring. Also Arabic phrase books that start with, “We’re not like those other guys who just left.”

* For the U.S. Army generals in Iraq, British uniforms, circa 1776.

* For U.S. troops in Iraq, tickets home, with no return.

* For the people of Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, which happens when the last “Coalition” soldier leaves.

* For the American People, President Hillary Clinton. This one has a note on it, in Marley’s own crabbed scrawl: This is actually from the neo-cons.

* And finally, for old Saddam himself, his very own reality TV show, in the form of a show trial running right through the American Presidential campaign and election, where he can talk about all kinds of interesting things like how the Bushes were so helpful when it came to using chemical weapons against Iran.

I thought that was the end of my old friend Marley’s list. But then I found something written on an envelope. “For all true conservatives who opposed this counterproductive war from the outset, the strategic advice of Tokugawa Ieyasu: ‘Wait.'”

WILLIAM S. LIND’s On War column appears weekly in CounterPunch.

 

More articles by:

WILLIAM S. LIND, expressing his own personal opinion, is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation.

January 21, 2019
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Peter Crowley
Outsourcing Still Affects Us: This and AI Worker Displacement Need Not be Inevitable
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail