Monday, March 05, 2007

Wes Clark in New Hampshire

by Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network, 3/5/07

The most important question of the century is how the Chinese will adapt to the idea of individualism.” Andre Malraux, 1920 thereabout, in Cambodia.

The idea of snow and ice is to test Yankee resolve and hone the gnarly character. Last Friday, Wesley Clark found us at our finest moment. Driving home up the mountain later, I’d never seen so many cars spinning off the black ice into snow banks. But it left the grand houses in Portsmouth, NH, New England’s most elegant city, a picture postcard.

Just as we arrived it was announced that the Secretary of the Army had resigned over the treatment of soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. General Clark opened his remarks with comments on this as a continuation of the same process of a war fought with hubris rather than means; the price being paid by the veteran and the wounded. This scandal will run deeper.

I’ve been dragged unwilling to Democratic events in Boston politics since I was a child and Jack Kennedy was a Senator here. But this event brought a distinct sense of awakening. Wes Clark brings a new direction to the Democrats. He is to a small group of new Democrats today what Tedy Bruschi is to the New England Patriots: He provides a vital bull-dog heartbeat to a new generation and he embodies what we mean by duty, honor and responsibility to family, country, and world.

The Democrats have seen this same spark recently with Jim Webb in Virginia. But here in New Hampshire and I would claim in all of New England, this new direction is no better crystallized than by the voice of our new Representative in Congress of Carol Shea-Porter, in whose honor the event was held. You could feel this new political life force begin to coalesce in this beautiful New England house in its quiet light in the snow. Other New Hampshire Democrats present who support Carol, like Dick Swett and Katrina Swett, are sure to encourage and feed this light, institutionalize it and bring it forward to new levels and new offices.

Clark spoke specifically and in lengthy detail on a potential Iran invasion. About two hours northwest, where I live, it rated a two-paragraph story in our local paper on the bottom of page two (below this headline for an article which took up half the page: "Proposal Could Lead to Gay Marriage").

I see this as denial journalism: It says "Let's talk about something else. War is two stressful." It is a form of journalistic infantilism. I think the average age of MSM reporter today is probably 55 - they don't want to think about war; they want to think about health insurance for their pending prostate operations. They also suffer from the illusion that they "make history"; that is, the things they like to think about – whatever they be - become "history" if they write about them. It is all part of the Wonderfullness of Who We Are.

Stony silence resonates throughout MSM world on General Clark's thoughts on a pending attack on Iran by a Bush administration oblivious to diplomacy; oblivious to strategy; oblivious to complexity of ideas greater than a compound sentence or an Old Testament quote. Git ‘r Done. The country seems ready for peace: But peace is perhaps not ready for the country. The Dem candidates in front today ignore the plight; they will send us back to the '90s, the '60s, the '50s instead and pretend Iraq didn't happen; Bush didn’t happen; Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rove didn’t happen and 9/11 didn’t happen. It gives Bush a free hand. Perhaps we have not yet seen the greatest tragedy of our times: it is just around the corner.

MSM never makes history. When history wants to be made it is always with upstart periodicals like William Lloyd Garrison’s "Liberation" or with S.S. McClure's "muckrakers" or even Daily Kos and The Free Market News Network. Emerson said people don't make events; events make people. The only place other than here that I've read detailed and ongoing coverage of a pending invasion of Iran is in the "Fighting Dems Newsletter.” General Clark makes the point that the greatest tragedy could well be just ahead.

I noticed Sunday that both George Will and David Brooks doused the leading Dems; Will saying the Dems are tired of Billary and Brooks referring to it as "American Idol/Celebrity Deathmarch" which could be deadly TV by next year – both true. These two journalists in particular resonate with MSM. But the entire formatting could change overnight due to marketing realities. (Cable News Network especially seems to have planned this as a marketing matrix about 10 years ago.) I think we are at a time of awakening and denial; Churchill spent years trying to get the Brits and the Americans to come to terms with the events that were overtaking them. Likewise we refuse to listen here. In this General Clark is the dark horse. If we wake up before next year we will go to him and seek him out. Perhaps quickly.

We are at the very beginning of a paradigm change in politics and culture - the tragic kind which begins to fall in the 60th year of a "saeculum" – a post-war period - thereabouts. Everything the press is doing in this present moment is geared to the past and trying to advance past ideas of which the utility is spent. And you can feel it in the candidates of both parties. The Mid East crisis is a denial war. The premise is that we can "make up” history by doing things in the Middle East to prevent what Mike Mansfield called "The Pacific Century." This is absurd. As Clark pointed out in Portsmouth the other night, this is greatly to the advantage of the Chinese who are going ahead of us in leaps and bounds while the neocon administration is trapped in obsession in the Middle East. China is not on their mind map.

The new paradigm will develops when crisis and necessity lead us once again to the best and the brightest. It is nature’s way. Then the nostalgico candidates will slip away like a snake’s old skin. The new paradigm has already begun to awaken with people like Jim Webb and Carol Shea-Porter. Wesley Clark will be the new man in the center. History is always this way.

And ahead we see an American crisis like a ship arriving in the fog in the night on the Pacific shore of a scale larger that what we are experiencing now; perhaps larger than we have experienced since 1945 or 1929. From my perspective it will begin with flux in markets and troubled seas in finance. (It began already with the fall of the baht in 1997). We could well advance there into denser forest there this week.

When real trouble comes it calls out the best and brightest - last time it was Roosevelt and Eisenhower. This time it will be Wes Clark and a very few new others. Others we have never heard of before but who will soon become essential to our very survival.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post. The nation needs people of intelligence and vision; hopefully these new Democrats will be able to remain out of the corporate bog long enough to do some good.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant to not be anonymous.

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