Thursday, February 15, 2007

Still Building Jerusalem

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold!
Bring me my Arrows of desire!
Bring me my Spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.
- Jerusalem, William Blake/Hubert Parry
The poem above is still a great patriotic song in Britain, where there are some who still recall looking at maps and seeing the Empire stretch across so many time zones that it was said that "The Sun never sets on the British Empire." Of course, that sunset came in 1947 when King George VI relinquished his title as Emperor of India, and Britain began to divest itself of its colonies and dominions.
Enough of history.
Our Dear Leader and Divinely-Appointed Purveyor of the Pax Americana, George W. Bush, went to the American Enterprise Institute this morning to talk about the progress of his military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, I'm trying hard to avoid saying things like "preaching to the choir," but he couldn't have picked a friendlier audience.
Bush went on about General Petraeus and the need for the Democrats to shut up and roll over, exposing their softest parts while the 20,000-man escalation in Iraq works. Now, exactly what they're supposed to actually DO, apart from woolly-headed cliches about "spreading democracy," is not known.
Nor is - as far as anyone can discern - there any plan for getting out if everything starts to go downhill. Some people, such as Steve Gilliard, opine that the Mahdi Army, under the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, is just lying low and waiting until the end of the Muslim month of Muharram (which ends on February 17th, so mark your calendars) before doing something insanely violent.
Now, how does this tie in with the Parry song above? Glad you asked.
A Bush staffer told a reporter, way back in 2000 or so, that the United States was an empire, and capable of creating its own reality. Unfortunately, as we've seen in the years following 2003, the United States is no good at building an empire in this day and age. Oh, sure, we did it easily when we took Guam, Cuba and the Phillippines away from Spain, but that was 1898, folks.
Oh yeah, and we fought an insurgency in the Phillippines that I point to as a dress rehearsal for Vietnam 45 years later.
The shining prospects and grand vistas of American Empire envisaged by the American Enterprise Institute, their financiers, enablers, and puppets (the Pax Americana, a democratic Middle East, free oil, massive profits, and the Second Coming) are largely in ruins. But still they go, urged by the Cheerleader-in-Chief, to go on trying to build Jerusalem.


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3:32 PM EST  

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