Friday, July 15, 2005

Say It Ain't So, 'Beca

I'm not surprised at the usual cast of characters headlining Just Us II but I am sad to see Rebecca St. James being dragged into this.

Would that the articulate, photogenic, charismatic Christian elite would help shine the spotlight on, oh, I don't know, things like this:

Everyone's in a hurry, even those who have had enough. Iraq has been called "Vietnam on crack," and the similarities are plentiful, down to the buffed-up premises for war (the Gulf of Tonkin then, W.M.D. now), the body counts, the peekaboo enemy ("'Where the [expletive] are these guys?' Maj. Kei Braun exclaimed in frustration" Ellen Knickmeyer, reporting on Operation Matador), and the stale vocabulary ("quagmire," "winning hearts and minds," "cut and run").

But emotionally Iraq doesn't feel like Vietnam. It doesn't feel like anything. It's like a phantom limb that doesn't ache. There's little of the anguish and anger that boiled in the 60s, few protest marches, only minor agitation in Congress (which approves every supplemental-funding bill for a war that was supposed to be self-financing), no social fissures opening up between opponents and supporters; everyone inhabits the same gray zone of resignation to whatever the outcome may be.

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