Political Correctness

« April 2006 »

Memo to All You Motherfuckers: WE TOLD YOU SO.

A friend of mine pointed something out to me last week, something I'd forgotten about. Something I'd written four and a half years ago, back when my web audience was, terrifyingly, less than a tenth of it's current tiny number.

I wrote it ten days after the events we were told Changed Everything, and through the simple exercise of assuming nothing had actually changed except sight lines in New York City, I called it. The shape of the next four years (i.e. the proverbial pear) is sketched out before you. Told you so.

I mention this not to gloat, or to even imply that I did anything particularly interesting or noteworthy. Fuck, I'm more proud of the stupid Quiet Riot joke underneath the serious piece. But I bring it up to make a point: predicting this was not difficult. I did it. Lots of people did it. Lots of people could have, and lots of people should have.

When it comes to Iraq, we were right. We were right about it taking longer, we were right about it costing more, we were right about Ahmed Chalabi, we were right about Halliburton. We were right about no-bid contracts, lack of oversight, and civil war. We were right about torture, rendition, and the mission not being accomplished. And most of all, we were right about the incompetent, malicious sons of bitches in charge of that mission.

And all it took to be right was to believe that the people in power could not be trusted. All it took was to remember that, no matter what our hearts wanted to believe, George W. Bush was an unscrupulous mental deficient on September 10, 2001, and he was the same unscrupulous mental deficient two days later. Simple, basic, time-tested cynicism.

And it doesn't matter. And the REASON it doesn't matter is while they've been getting it wrong and we've been getting it right, they have been systematically dismantling and devaluing the very concept of being correct vs. being incorrect. Their view of right and wrong is entirely faith-based. Not objectively right and objectively wrong. Not right and wrong in the sense that you look at the results and you look at the work and you say "OK, that shit was fucking wrong from the get-go." Just right and wrong in a "we are right, and therefore by extension everything not 'we' is wrong" way.

But we were still right. And what we get to find out next is whether that still means anything. If the propaganda and spin has merely suppressed the public's interest in reality, or destroyed it entirely. And let's hope it's the former, because if our track record holds up, we're also right about global warming, Iran, health care, and peak oil. And I'd much rather not be proven right after the fact on those.