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Tuesday, November 16, 2004
The people have spoken

One of the joys of being in Australia (oops, I never told you I was going, did I?) is to be able to read the Age, a newspaper that frequently gets its observations spot on. Among the various comments on the Iraq war, none seems to chime with the claim by the US Hebrew Gog (anag.), a claim almost universally seen as idiotic: ‘Mission Accomplished’.

The decision to go to war was a fine one at the time; one has to be utterly sure of one’s grounds for opening hostilities. As I wrote in my last posting, whatever one thinks of opting for war, the record of the US in the last two years has been lamentable and it isn’t getting any better. That Americans could be duped into endorsing incompetence is either a reflection on the people of the US, or a statement about the control exerted over the news media by right wing groups. Perhaps it is a mixture of both. It beggars belief that, twenty months after the ‘end’ of the war, fighting is continuing at such extraordinary levels.

A correspondent in the Age (12 November) reminds us that H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), the American journalist/satirist, made an important prediction:
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
A passage in the paragraph preceding the bit quoted above, according to my research, has the following
…then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre…
How Mencken must be laughing in his grave.

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