Monday, July 24, 2006

White and Brown Rice

A common criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror is well depicted in an article by Gary Hart(pence), Welcome to the Hornet's Nest posted on 7/14/2006.

"Sometime in the fall of 2002, I likened a U.S. invasion of Iraq to "kicking open a hornets' nest." I predicted that, if the Iraqis decided to fight in the cities, our casualties would be between five and ten thousand U.S. troops at least. Now, U.S. casualties exceed 20,000." (John Kerry was a casualty in Viet Nam... several times.)

"But the "hornets' nest" I predicted was not just an interminable and intractable U.S. occupation of Iraq. It was wider war in the Middle East. The larger hornets' nest is now swarming."

One's initial response to the use of this metaphor may be that it effectually depicts a terrible mistake. However, upon further review... it actually hoists the author on his own petard.

Back in the day, down on the farm, Grandpa John, Grandpa Jerry, and I would find a hornets' nest situated high under the eaves of our two-story house or the machine shed. We would choose an attack by one of three weapons at our disposal; rocks, a water hose with spray nossle, or a Daisy BB gun. After initiating a pre-emptive strike in hopes of knocking down the nest, we would run like the dickens. We 'kicked open a hornets' nest'. We, being on the cutting edge, acted like good Liberals and ran away to hide, 'talking big' to mask our knocking knees.

But the metaphor continues. The hornets are there. If the nest isn't knocked down and destroyed it will grow and actively expand the hornet population. Normal human action in the area will increase hazardous interaction with the hornets; their lifestyles will be severely altered. Men, women, and children will be more greatly endangered, even in the simplest activities.

Taking our cues from General Douglas McArthur, we returned, doing whatever we found necessary to destroy that hornets' nest.

It seems that Mr. Hart(pence) is continually troubled by women named Rice. One was photographed sitting on his lap, the other kills the hornets from which Gary hides.

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