The White Man Unburdened

…. Should horrific events take place, we can count on a predictable response: “Good, honest, innocent Americans died today because of evil al-Qaeda terrorists.” Yes, we will hear the President’s voice before he even utters such words.

….In the course, however, of all the quick events of the last few months, our military passed through a transmogrification. Indeed, it was one hellion of a morph. We went, willy-nilly, from a potentially great athlete to serving as an emergency intern required to operate at high speed on an awfully sick patient full of frustration, outrage, and violence. Now in the last month, even as the patient is getting stitched up somewhat, a new and troubling question arises: Have any fresh medicines been developed to deal with what seem to be teeming infections? Do we really know how to treat livid suppurations? Or would it be better to just keep trusting our great American luck, our faith in our divinely protected can-do luck? We are, by custom, gung-ho. If these suppurations prove to be unmanageable, or just too time-consuming, may we not leave them behind? We could move on to the next venue. Syria, we might declare in our best John Wayne voice: You can run, but you can’t hide. Saudi Arabia, you overrated tank of blubber, do you need us more than ever? And Iran, watch it, we have eyes for you. You could be a real meal. Because when we fight, we feel good, we are ready to go, and then go some more. We have had a taste. Why, there’s a basketful of billions to be made in the Middle East just so long as we can stay ahead of the trillions of debts that are coming after us back home.

>>Norman Mailer: The White Man Unburdened

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