Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production

Vol.38.1: FLOP GUNS

©2007 UrbisMedia

©2007 UrbisMedia

A friend who I have coffee with from time to time likes to counter my insistence that George W. Bush is an idiot with his insistence that “an idiot could not have been taught to fly an F-106 jet.”   Bush learned to fly one when he was hiding in the Texas Air National Guard that his father pulled strings to get him into.   No, it only proves that you can teach an idiot to fly an F-106, which, by the way, was a plane the Navy was phasing out, so George would have obsolesced with his plane and not been deployed to Vietnam. He made doubly certain of that by deliberately not showing up for his mandatory physical and being grounded—chickenhawk-idiot.

Now you might wonder what the hell I am doing picking on Navy pilots, men who risk their lives “to protect our freedoms.”   Well, wonder some more.   I am not picking on the category, but of members of it. But I am also picking on the disturbing American tendency, not without a good amount of official assistance, to elevate these guys (probably because they drive such expensive and powerful machines) to the heroic heights of NASCAR champions. [1]  

So the syllogism goes something like this: Not all Navy pilots are idiots / But Bush was a Navy pilot / So you can teach an idiot to be a Navy pilot.   (It’s sort of a Rumsfeldian syllogism.) You can teach a lot of idiots to fly airplanes. Rumsfeld learned to fly one, Duke Cunningham was a fighter “ace” in an F-4, and John McCain managed to get shot down after he learned to fly one.   Idiots all.   Navy pilots all. In fact, I’m rather sick of this whole Navy pilot thing that my coffee companion seems to apotheosize. George H.W. Bush was a Navy pilot, too, and he, like McCain, also managed to turn being shot down into being a “hero.” [2]

But let’s stick with McCain, since he is actively seeking to be the next ex-shot-down-Navy-pilot-president.   This guy is such a political windsock (although he presents himself as a man of integrity), who has been trading on his former 5-year POW status for so long that it is time to announce that the North Vietnamese still have McCain’s brain for which they substituted a bunch of stuff that fell out of the back end of a barnyard animal. [3]   McCain wishes us to view him as a man of integrity, which is rubbish because he flips and flops around like a tuna out of water.

He proclaimed in 1999: “I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.”   Recently he flipped to: “I do believe that it’s very likely or possible that the Supreme Court should – could overturn Roe v. Wade, which would then return these decisions to the states, which I support.”   In 2004 he regarded the [against] gay marriage amendment as “antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans”; but said he would support it in this little kiss up to that Baptist bucket of phony piety, Jerry Falwell.   McCain once referred to Falwell as an “agent of intolerance,” and then showed up at Falwell’s Liberty University to proclaim his support for teaching Intelligent Design in schools. He said he opposed Bush’s tax cuts, and then voted for them.   What the hell possessed to North Vietnamese to keep this guy so long?   Intelligence?; everything he says is bullshit!

My coffee friend at least does not counter these claims with “Oooooo, how can you say that about a “war hero” when you didn’t even go off to fight in Vietnam to protect America’s women in red states from being forced to wear Viet Cong black pajamas.   But that might be what he’s thinking.   He’s thinking, “This guy only gets to talk this way because Navy pilots repulsed those Viet Cong and NVA who were attacking our country back in the early 1960s.   You remember that, dontcha?   Americans didn’t of course know where the hell Vietnam was, but they were sure that the little people (later changed to “gooks”) were hell bent on storming ashore from those coracles [4] they use in the Mekong Delta (wherever the hell that is?) at Malibu and making us become communists and eat pho noodles and spring rolls.   Those navy pilots were protecting my freedom, and this is how I show my gratitude.   And then I go and compound my ingratitude when my country is attacked again by people called Iraqis (or was that Iranians?) who “hate my freedom” and want to make my daughters wear burkhas (you know, those laundry bags that cover the whole body), and make me convert to Islam.   Meanwhile the people who really did attack us are BBQ-ing in the mountains of Afghanistan or scheming about oil profits with the Carlisle Group in Jeddah.

But such distinctions seem to wash out at Navy pilot altitude; Sunnis, Saudis, Shiites, Shiatsus, what the hell’s the difference to these guys—bombs away!   “The Sunnis and Saddam were our pals and those Shiites and Iran the enemy, then the Sunnis and Saddam became the enemy, and so are the Shiites who are the enemies of the Sunnis . . . oh, what the hell . . . bomb ‘em all and let Allah sort ‘em out!”  

Frankly, I’m tired of our foreign policy being run by these idiots, who are nothing but the minions of greedy war profiteers like Haliburton and defense contractors.   Now idiot McCain wants to increase the troop levels in Iraq. He must feel that the insurgents do not have enough Americans to blow up and snipe at as they wander around wondering what the hell they are doing in this place that Navy pilots trashed with their shock and awe bombing campaign five years ago and still hasn’t been put back together.   This, of course, is one of the options left open in the weenie report by the Iraq Study Group, which did little more, after so much deliberation, than come to the conclusion that the war is lost, without saying it outright.

It is clear that the American attitude is now—probably always was—what is best for America, or more particularly, the Bush administration, the war profiteers, and the Bush legacy; not what is best for the Iraqis!   Given the disaster of their country, their economy, and their resources, and given that perhaps ten times as many Iraqis have been killed in the past five yeas than in the previous thirty years of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship it might not be too outrageous to give the country back to Saddam. Remember, he was our guy before, maybe he like the job again. [5]    At least he kept the place from self-destructing. Anyway, he was getting a little goofy near the end there; but nowhere near as goofy as McCain.

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©2007, James A. Clapp (UrbisMedia Ltd. Pub. 1.2.2007)

[1] After all, that dork, Tom Cruise, played the lead in the film, Top Gun. But for those that didn’t really get it, you have to see Charlie Sheen sending up Cruise and his role in Hot Shots.   Thank the lord that we have our Navy pilots to protect our precious right to satire.

[2] 90% of being a hero today is just showing up. See DCJ No. 13. 3 The End of Heroism.

[3] This is to put to rest the nasty rumor that McCain’s brain was actually given by the North Vietnamese to Jane Fonda in exchange for information about the location of American missile silos in Hollywood.

[4] Look it up. I had too.  All In could remember was little round basket boats.

[5] TOO LATE! Boy, they hung that guy and had him in the ground quicker than you could say Osama bib Laden.

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