The Problem Isn't the
Jockey, It's the Stable Hands
The Headless Horseman
of the Apocalypse
By NORMAN SOLOMON
"Counterpunch" -- -- President Bush may be a
headless horseman. But the biggest problem is what he
rode in on.
Martin Luther King Jr.
had a good name for it 40 years ago. "The madness of
We can blame Bush all we
want -- and he does hold the reins right now -- but his
main enablers these days are the fastidious public
servants in Congress. They keep preparing the hay,
freshening the water, oiling the saddle, even while
criticizing the inappropriately jocular rider. And when
the band plays "Hail to the Jockey," most of the
grown-up stable boys and girls can't help saluting.
The people who actually
live in Iraq have their own opinions, of course. UPI
reported at the end of December that a new poll,
conducted by the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic
Studies, found that "about 90 percent of Iraqis feel the
situation in the country was better before the U.S.-led
invasion than it is today." Meanwhile, according to a
CNN poll last month, 11 percent of Americans support
sending more U.S. troops to Iraq.
Buried in a New York
Times news article on Tuesday (Jan. 9) was this
statement of fact:
"By law, Congress can
limit the nature of troop deployments, cap the size of
military deployments and cut financing for existing or
Some Democrats in
Congress want to hand the president his head and some
don't. But, as a practical matter, the distinction is
moot. He's in the thrall of what you might call a
repetition compulsion disorder that manifests as digging
in his heels.
Obviously the president
likes the wind in his ears. And he shows no sign of
slowing down. Bush can keep riding the madness of
militarism at a gallop unless people on Capitol Hill
stop nourishing it with appropriations. And they won't
do that unless we find effective ways to insist that
they cut off funding for the war.
The key problem right now
isn't the headless jockey. It's the stable hands who
keep feeding the horse he rode in on.
Norman Solomon is
the author of
War Made Easy: How
Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.