The shrill war cries of flaccid failures
Digby absolutely eviscerates the 101st Fighting Keyboarders:
They're like a bunch of coke addicts trying desperately to re-capture that first great high that made them feel omnipotent. ("May the Lion come roaring back!")I can't say it any better than that. I'll just tack on this quote from Christopher Hitchens:
9/11 was a very dramatic act of terrorism, a made for TV spectacle that horrifed and riveted the world for days. Many of these people threw themselves into the fantasy that this "war on terrorism" was the gravest threat the world has ever known (MAD be damned) and that they were somehow at the center of this conflict, destined to be heroes of the age ...
I suspect that among those who have not had to fight a war there are always a few who regret not being able to prove themselves on the battlefield. War does seem hardwired into the human experience; the battle cry is a pretty primal thing. So, I can understand the excitement of the twenty somethings like Pat Tilman who joined up after 9/11, driven by a strong desire to test his mettle and physical courage. (Hell, that was the reason Oliver Stone joined up in Vietnam, Kerry too --- it has little to do with politics.) Young men being excited about war is nothing new --- and having their illusions shattered by the reality of it is nothing new either. The literature of the ages can attest to this.
That is not what we are dealing with here, however. We are dealing with a group of right wing glory seekers who chose long ago to eschew putting themselves on the line in favor of tough talk and empty posturing --- the Vietnam chickenhawks and their recently hatched offspring of the new Global War On Terrorism. These are men (mostly) driven by the desire to prove their manhood but who refuse to actually test their physical courage. Neither are they able to prove their virility as they are held hostage by prudish theocrats and their own shortcomings. So they adopt the pose of warrior but never actually place themselves under fire ...
...This is why we hear the shrill war cries of inchoate bloodlust from these quarters every time the terrorists strike. It's a primal scream of inner confusion and self-loathing. These are people whose highest aspirations and deepest longings are wrapped up in their masculinity, and yet they are flaccid failures.
...Playing laptop Pattons at full volume, supporting the president and the entire power structure of the government is their only way of proving to themselves that they are warriors. They are damaged by their own contradictory past and as a result they cannot see their way through the haze of emotional turmoil to seek out and find real solutions to the problem of terrorism. They lash out with trash talk and threats and constant references to their own resolve because they are afraid. They've always been afraid.
Watching the towers fall in New York, with civilians incinerated on the planes and in the buildings, I felt something that I couldn’t analyze at first and didn’t fully grasp ... until the day itself was nearly over. I am only slightly embarrassed to tell you that this was a feeling of exhilaration. Here we are then, I was thinking, in a war to the finish between everything I love and everything I hate. Fine. We will win and they will lose. A pity that we let them pick the time and place of the challenge, but we can and we will make up for that.