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Feature Story April 17, 2003
 
The Bums Will Always Lose
By John Dolan Browse author Email
 
 

"The bums will always lose, Lebowski!"

"The game is over." That's what Iraq's UN ambassador said when the US took Baghdad. It's true: the game is over for all of us, not just Iraq. For the rest of your lifetime, the world is going to be run by Bush's America.

We realize that news is pretty hard to take. Many of us were also in denial -- so far gone that we actually started believing the Iraqi Army would put up a decent fight. And we believed this absurdity not because we cared about the Iraqis or hated American soldiers, but because we were rooting for anything that would slow the Bush lunatics down or make them look bad.

This sad hope was everywhere. Russians were so deep in a state of denial that on a popular evening talk-show last week, 92% voted that they believed Baghdad hadn't yet fallen, even though it had fallen two days earlier. That percentage was remarkably close to the poll taken on Russian TV a week before, which showed that over two-thirds of Russians actually wanted Iraq to win.

And for a few days in the first week of the war, this touching fantasy seemed possible. It seemed that the Bush Administration had dug its own grave. Then reality asserted itself. The Iraqis ran, the US won, the networks started filming Bush's 2004 reelection commercials in the streets of Baghdad. You could actually tell which shots were going to hit the air in the next election: that footage of Saddam's statue going down, obviously. And the one of young Iraqis cheering as a Humvee went by. And the one with an Iraqi who spoke a little English saying, "Thank you, Meester Bush."

That's the way it's going to be for the rest of your lifetime. There is no way around it. It'll be easier for you to strangle any remaining hopes right now. Save yourself unnecessary grief. True, for a lot of people in America, the triumph of the Republican Right over the world isn't a problem. They're like the serfs who welcomed the arrival of the Romanov dynasty, the Phnom Phenh intellectuals who cheered the convoy of victorious Khmer Rouge troops. But for the rest of us, this reality, the inevitable one-hundred year reign of Bush-wing Republicanism, is so horrifying that we've taken refuge in false hope.

Welp, the eXile is ready to help you with a little reality therapy. We offer to destroy your hopes right now, free of charge. To rip that bandaid off and get the pain over with. Here they are, the hopes of the opposition, debunked one by one. Simply choose the hope which has been sustaining you, read our explanation of why it's absurd, and watch the candles go out until all is darkness.

1. Karma

Budda

It's a simple, seductive idea: "What comes around, goes around." America will fall because it deserves to. America's sins will catch up with it, sooner or later. All those bodies buried in El Salvador, Guatemala, Vietnam; all the sweatshops of Indonesia; the destruction of hundreds of American Indian tribes -- someday, we'll have to pay for that.

The problem with this quasi-religious belief is that it's simply, demonstrably false. No empire ever fell because of the bad things it did. Empires fall for their mistakes, not their sins.

"What about the Nazis, man?" Sorry, kids: the Nazis fell because they invaded Russia, not because they murdered people they didn't like. It was a strategic mistake, not a moral transgression, which brought them down. If Hitler had stuck to occupying Western Europe and exterminating unpopular minorities, the Nazis would be around today -- and you can bet that there would be thousands of admiring writers glorifying their rougher earlier period.

If you really think an Empire's evil deeds inevitably catch up with it, read a little about the history of the British Empire -- then explain why London hasn't been turned into a lake of fire by an angry God. If any empire ever deserved a massive Karmic stomping, it was this one. In the course of their Imperial period, the British attacked, occupied, sacked or colonized virtually every country on the planet. But the British not only escaped Karmic justice, they even managed to cover up their crimes and keep their reputation as cute, harmless character actors and nature documentary hosts.


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dolan@exile.ru
 
 
FROM THE VAULT
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