Our Empire In Decline
I went to a Catholic grade school when I was a kid, and our principal was a half-crazy old nun who watered the plastic plants every morning and once tried to dye her hair grey but it came out purple and all the kids made fun of her behind her back. Still, she was mean and powerful enough to be imposing. So we’d sit up straight while she lectured us on the evils of heavy metal or masturbation or the Enlightenment or whatever. But the spitwads would fly as soon as she left the room.
Anyway, I was thinking about Sister Margaret when I read about Condoleezza Rice lecturing the OAS this week. She had an Important Message to deliver about democracy. Move over waterboarding, she said. Forget extraordinary rendition and phone taps and compromising covert operatives. That Watergate-era shit only used to be illegal and un-American and treasonous. These days, we now know, the real threat to Our Way of Life is not allowing big media corporations to overthrow governments or something.
Since Rice is a super-humungo proponent of open and balanced discussion, it must have killed her to have to unceremoniously storm out the door three nanoseconds after her big speech ended, unable to benefit from the precious “other side” of the discussion she cherishes so deeply.
And just like a little fifth-grade me, those precocious little Latins started going all insubordinate behind her back, refusing to pretend that the RCTV flap was a free speech issue or boot Venezuela from the human rights commission per Condi’s demands.
Blasphemously, all this took place in Panama, where just 25 years ago the country’s rebellious lefty President was excommunicated, permanent-like, from life with the help of the CIA. The kids today Just. Won’t. Learn.