Monday, September 05, 2005

Send in the Marines

Watching the coverage of Katrina over the last week, it occured to me that the Bush administration's only response to every problem is to send in more troops while making loud statements about how it was a problem no one could have foreseen. Rather like the quacks of old who believed that a little blood-letting was the panacea for all human ills, and everyone else was a charlatan and a liar. One shudders to think how Bush and co. plan to meet budget shortfalls - no doubt by sending more troops into the Fed.

I'm reminded of this amazing Tom Lehrer song:

When someone makes a move
Of which we don't approve,
Who is it that always intervenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,*
They have their place, I guess,
But first - send the Marines!

We'll send them all we've got,
John Wayne and Randolph Scott;
Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
To the shores of Tripoli,
But not to Mississippoli,
What do we do? We send the Marines!

For might makes right,
And till they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
Till somebody we like can be elected.

Members of the corps
All hate the thought of war;
They'd rather kill them off by peaceful means.
Stop calling it aggression,
Ooh, we hate that expression!
We only want the world to know
That we support the status quo.
They love us everywhere we go,
So when in doubt,
Send the Marines!
Also, does anyone else find it interesting that a week after the incident we still don't have an official casualty number? Are we really expected to believe that the authorities have no idea how many people have died in this thing (the New Orleans mayor said he thought that it was probably over 10,000 apparently)? Ya, right. At least most other governments have the decency to make up bogus numbers to keep the truth from getting out. Bush and the Shrubs just keep the number from becoming public till they manage to figure out how to spin it. How convenient. So much for being the upholders of democracy in the free world.


Heh Heh said...

they're probably just not used to it..

absolutely clueless said...

its ridiculous, the official death toll fr Louisiana is 59...even the guy publishing that figure mustnt believe it!!!
what i find most disturbing is that the apathy of the authorities is fast degenerating into a slur on race/ econ relations, atleast in media abroad...the whole if-this-was-NY-wud-the-response-be-as-slow argument, albeit a valid question, is not the most important issue at this point, no?

Falstaff said...

clueless: I'm not sure that it isn't - after all, the only way we're going to overcome the apathy of the authorities is by figuring out where it comes from. So it's valid to ask whether the apathy stems from the fact that the victims are poor, black, and not politically important to the government (at least in themselves).

I do think that the international media response is also a reaction to years of smugness from the US. If you go around acting like you're the big cheese, telling everyone else what to do, then you have to accept that they're going to glory in your downfall.

What's interesting is the lack of international effort to help - which is probably due to a) a failure of imagination on the part of world authorities - who can imagine sending humanitarian aid to the US? and b) the logic that the problem is not so much lack of resources, but intelligent people to manage them. Which is why there's not much the international community can do. Except crow over the economic and racial issues.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Eh? You listen to Tom Lehrer too?
This is getting scary.

Do you have a plum-coloured birthmark like a candelabrum on your right buttock?


(Sometimes it's OK to ignore Strunk & Fowler)


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