Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Surge Protector

194 Surge Protector

The pro-war among us are calling it a “surge.” The anti-war among us is calling it an escalation.

It’s not an escalation, because escalators go down as well as up. Escalation was popularized by the Johnson administration as a make-nice-ism to describe the intensifying of the Vietnam war and increasing the death, maiming, burning and destruction.

Surge is a make-nice-ism for escalation, and so is a make-nice-ism for a make-nice-ism. An escalation can be a horrible thing, whereas a surge is just a cuddly little increase, kind of like a surge in the value of your stock portfolio.

Aside: when you get an electrical power surge, you computer, your TV set and your refrigerator can easily fry. That’s why they have surge protectors – available cheap in electronics stores, office supply stores, supermarkets, drug stores, hardware stores (are there any hardware stores left?) 7-11s and practically anywhere else.

What we need is a surge protector for our involvement in Iraq.

When the engineering geniuses at Con Ed throw too much juice into the system, your surge protector deflects (or is supposed to deflect) the excess, thus saving you from destruction of your internet porn, your “WWE Monday Night Raw” and your beer.

When the strategic geniuses in the White House throw too much juice into the system, people (some innocent, some not,) die.

In his State of the Union Address, the president asked us to be patient and to give his Iraq policy a chance to work. Pardon? Haven’t we done that?

The Democratic Party Replier said today’s soldiers no longer trust the judgment of the Commander-in-Chief. If true, this is not a good sign. Military operations are based on trust and cooperation. It’s more important for the foot soldier to trust the sergeant and the lieutenant and the captain than it is to trust the president. But erosion is erosion. Welcome to the down escalator.

Aside: Since when do we need a “reply” from the party-not-in-the-White House? This is not an election debate where everyone gets a shot. It’s the presidents required report to Congress on the state of the union.

If you unravel the notion behind the notion of a reply, you have to figure that the government is made up of two private contractors, each making a bid for the attention, hearts and minds of the American public. This is, in fact, true, as has been pointed out in this space before. And often. Ford vs. Chevy. Four wheels and an engine. Not a whole lot of difference. But why be so blatant about it.

Hey, wait! Maybe THAT’s the surge protector.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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