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. â€œThe madness of militarism.â€
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 â€œHail to the Jockey,â€ most of the grown-up stable boys and girls canâ€™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 â€œabout 90 percent of Iraqis feel the situation in the country was better before the U.S.-led invasion than it is today.â€ 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 January 9 was this statement of fact: â€œBy law, Congress can limit the nature of troop deployments, cap the size of military deployments and cut financing for existing or prospective deployments.â€
Some Democrats in Congress want to hand the president his head and some donâ€™t. But, as a practical matter, the distinction is moot. Heâ€™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 wonâ€™t do that unless we find effective ways to insist that they cut off funding for the war.
The key problem right now isnâ€™t the headless jockey. Itâ€™s the stable hands who keep feeding the horse he rode in on.
Norman Solomonâ€™s book â€œWar Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Deathâ€ is out in paperback. For more information, go to: www.normansolomon.com or visit the Atlantic Free Press Amazon Bookstore.