The news is the news, same as it ever was. People are protesting, and people are counter-protesting the protesters. It's America, it's democracy, it's kind of beautiful in all it's contradictions and inconsistancies. I was talking with my friend Kate last night about how depressing the state of journalism is, how the press has slowly become just another impotent institution mired in the tar-pit of corporate America. We talked about how the talking-head anchors sound so different from people in the field, how interviews are almost indistinguishable from one-on-one press conferences, how toothless everything seems to be. We lament the death of integrity, of guts, of good old honest muckraking.
The President (gasp!) left the house to go pow-wow with his war buddies on an Air Force base off the coast of Portugal. It's another one of the things that annoys me so about Bush, his seeming belief that he can get diplomatic traction though a few phone calls and one speech at the UN. It smacks of pampered rich-boy spoiledness. The thought that getting a coalition for war together might involve lots of hard work and travel never seems to have crossed his mind. Now it looks like they're trying to plan the big move, "I flew all the way over here, now let's fucking roll." You know it's not really about the UN, because if it were they'd at least have buddy-buddy Bulgeria in on the talks, if not also a number of the swing voter nations. No, this is about how to get around the UNSC, not go through it.
The prez is in a real bind. They're not getting a resolution. Blair can't back Bush up 100% without one or he'll face the very real prospect of going the way of Marge Thatcher, booted out of office by his own party to stem a popular revolt. Going in without Britan makes us look even more like cowboys than we are, a fact that people here are finally starting to wake up and realize is a bad thing. Sure, there's been a surge of chauvinistic nationalism -- mostly directed at the French -- but the smart money says going it alone -- now almost literally -- is probably not going to get us a happy outcome. It's a recipie for quagmire. I think we're to blame here for starting the diplomatic pissing contest, though the resistance has also solidified to an undreasonable degree. In any case, we've reached an impasse, and unless someone comes up with something truly innovative, there's a train wreck in the offing.
And me personally? I'm going to the candlelight vigil, I'm going to the march next week, but I've accepted that the war is probably going to happen. I hope it's quick and as painless as possible. I hope the Iraqi army surrenders and Saddam flees the country. I hope it's over in a week and no one gets hurt. I'm not too optimistic about any of this, but I'm not cynical to hope it goes bad just so my resistance will be vindicated.
The bottom line though is that these people have got to go. They've had their way for quite long enough, and I want my damn country back. I'm going to be active and pragmatic in 2004 (anyone but Leiberman, please!). Also, the Republican National Convention is going to be here. You're coming to my town, bitches? Wave your flags and dance on some graves? Well this time it's personal; you gonna hear from this cat. Frank and I are resolved to make a scene.