Court intellectuals amuse me. The ignorant masquerading as the wise always do. Let's take Thomas Friedman's recent comment, "I have no problem with a war for oil..." Of course he doesn't. He's not going to fight it. If he had to fight, you'd never hear a word out of him.
Why, I wonder, should anyone care what a court intellectual thinks about anything? They're almost always wrong. About the only time they're right is by accident. They're such buffoons every time I think of one I imagine a court jester in cap and bells and those funny shoes with the curled toes.
What Friedman's talking about is stealing Iraqi gold – their Black Gold, as the title song in The Beverly Hillbillies calls oil. That's what Vandals and other barbarians have traditionally done in the past. They came swooping in on their horses – I guess today what we would call tanks and hummers – and grabbed all the gold.
However, there is one other thing they always snatched. The women! They grabbed all the babes. Those are the two things that barbarians lived for: gold and babes. It makes me wonder: did Genghis Khan have court intellectuals that he took with him on his rampages? (Imagine William Bennett and Jonah Goldberg in the desert, pirouetting like ballerinas with one hand above their heads, while fetchingly dressed in their tight little jester outfits: "Genghis Khan, you're the best/You're so great, we feel blest/You're so cool and neat/No, sir, you can't be beat..."). Nah, I doubt Genghis needed to rationalize his actions, although I'd bet he'd enjoy watching neocon wimps suck up to him. It's what they do to those in power today.
Aren't stealing gold and babes always what happens during war? American troops left a lot of half-breed kids in Vietnam. Heck, one of my friends, who is a Filipina still living in the Philippines, said there are all kinds of half- breed children over there.
Read William Bradford Huie's The Americanization of Emily to find out what happens to poor foreign woman when richer soldiers show up. I'll give you a hint: "Americanization" is not a compliment. It was a word for deprived women, made poor by war, who attached themselves to soldiers so they could survive.
Let's see...what else happens during war? Oh, yeah – drugs! Armies have traditionally used drugs to quell terror before battles. Even today the US military uses amphetamines to keep our troops awake for long periods. It contributed to US pilots accidently bombing and killing those four Canadian soldiers. Our pilots were wired.
I've got pictures in a book of drunken Russian troops charging German machine guns during World War I. They didn't make it, but they died pretty happy. I guess. At least they didn't feel much pain, not after being in a stupor from guzzling vodka all night.
Afghanistan is a major grower of poppy plants. And one of my Iranian friends said there is a lot of marijuana cultivated in Iran. Our troops will find out, just like they always have in the past.
How come the court intellectuals never talk about these other things? All you ever hear about is the gold. Never about the babes and the drugs. I wonder why? Why don't they ever talk about a soldier's boredom and fear and anger, the kind that comes from being an unwanted stranger in a strange – and hostile – land? Could it be they have a rather poor understanding of history and human nature? Could it be that neocons are fake conservatives and have no understanding of wisdom? If that's true, then they wouldn't understand the moral degradation that comes with being an Empire. George Orwell understood it, from his time in India.
Haven't any of these wussy Max Boot/William Kristol girlie-boy types ever seen the movie Platoon? I've always remembered that scene where the guys are stoned and dancing with each other. American troops did the same thing during the War Between the States. Some of the guys even put on dresses. Goodness. The things that war does to men. Or is it to almost everyone involved?
These men – the Kristols, the Friedmans, the Clintons (and, yes, Hillary is not a woman) – are the older trying to give advice to the younger. That's the way it's supposed to be, if the older have knowledge and wisdom and clear vision. These men have none of those things. They're not purposely lying with what they say. They just don't know what they're talking about. Partly they're cowards, but mostly they are unfinished men, ones who never quite grew up.
At first the coming war with Iraq will be Goldberg against a teacup Chihuahua. But what about the long-term occupation? Empires never survive. There may a time may come in the future when the younger, now grown older, will say to those who misled them, "You lied." Ask people who grew up during Vietnam what they think of LBJ or Robert McNamara. They were naive youngsters believing – trusting? – in fools as "fathers." And the young turned on the elders in a flash, when they realized they had been conned. It was true then, as it is true now, and will remain true in the future.
Why did I call this Mars Needs Women? The title is more than a lousy 1964 film starring Tommy Kirk. Mars is the mythological God of War. He always needs Women – he was a chronic adulterer. And he needs Gold. And Drugs. And most especially, Murder. He was, not surprisingly, a coward. Just like our court intellectuals. And his parents despised him. That doesn't surprise me, either.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it," wrote George Santayana. This is true. There are other quotes than come to mind: "There is nothing new under the sun," and, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
I couldn't be a court intellectual. There are truths that apply to them, and I certainly fear their being applied to me. One is, "As you sow, so you reap." The scariest one, though, is "What does it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul?" It applies not only to people, but nations.
Naw, I'm wasting my time. They'll never listen. They're too busy admiring their cute little outfits in the mirror. It's just about all they can see.