Situation Normal—All F----d Up | Opinion | Salt Lake City Weekly

Situation Normal—All F----d Up 

Smart Bomb: The completely unnecessary news analysis

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Merriam-Webster: Snafu—situation marked by errors or confusion. That's the polite way to define the old Army slang that encapsulates the challenges of waging war. Or in the case of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, waging peace. Right. So, OK, how did Biden screw up our exit so thoroughly? Consider this: Trump made a deal with the Taliban—but strangely not the Afghan government—to pull out all troops by May 1, 2021. Mission Impossible.

Then there is this: As of last month, U.S. intelligence and military brass were saying Afghan forces could hold off the Taliban for months or even years. Well, that's tough cookies for Biden because now he owns the historic snafu of death and misery that will follow him to the grave.

But the trove of government documents obtained recently by Craig Whitlock and The Washington Post—a.k.a. The Afghanistan Papers—reveals that from the get-go, U.S. leaders were fooling us and themselves about the chaos and corruption they suborned in what they knew was an unwinnable campaign. Neither Bush, nor Obama, dared pull the plug for fear they'd be branded by failure. So hang it on Biden—the Republicans certainly will—but the fact is, he had no more than a supporting role in this Shakespearean tragedy.

Poof!—Where Are All The Climate Deniers?
OK, where are they? Hey climate change deniers, come out, come out wherever you are. The Hoax Is Over! Ever wonder why average working people would go nuts every time someone said "global warming"? And every winter when a snow storm blew through they'd say cute things, like, "the global warming is stacking up on my driveway." Others—who aren't Republicans—would counter with facts, like, "the Greenland ice sheet is melting and the glaciers in the Andes aren't there any more." But Deniers respond with: "The Earth is always changing and it has nothing to do with Exxon, my gas-guzzler and farting cows."

But now—strangely—they've gone quiet. Wonder if pictures of burned up towns in California and Oregon got their tongue. Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who once threw a snowball on the Senate floor to show the planet is not warming, said last month he never called climate change a "hoax." Still, a Pew Research Center survey in May found that only 10% of Republicans and right-leaning independents were concerned with climate change. Maybe they could be convinced by more droughts, 117-degree summers and deadly flash floods and hurricanes—if they aren't killed first by that other hoax, the pandemic.

Chris Stewart: Patriotism, Sancity and Other B.S.
Our devoted Congressman Chris Stewart has taken a stand—what he claims is not a popular one. He's standing up for the good ol' USA because too many people choose ideology over country. (We are not making this up.) Yep, against all odds he's coming out for patriotism: "I want to defend a radical idea. An idea that is increasingly unpopular—mocked and sneered at by some: The United States of America is good."

Wilson and the guys in the band feel better already. They particularly like this statement: "Choosing an ideological group over our country is tribalism." Good ol' Chris Stewart, always trying to bring the country together. Oops, there is this one tiny, little matter—he says Joe Biden didn't win the election. "After serious thought and consideration, I will not vote to certify the election," he said. "I am safeguarding the sanctity of each vote." Nothing like a little sanctity.

No, Stewart was not dissing the Jan. 6 rioters but people who want equality—like Black people who are tired of being killed. "The current popular condemnations are neo-Marxist," he said, "in that they portray societal and individual struggles through a tribal dichotomy of winners and victims." And as everyone knows, Black Americans have never been victimized.

Post script—Well that does it for another week here at Smart Bomb's tour of Dante's Inferno. The Delta Variant got pushed off the front pages for a few days thanks to our gracious exit from Afghanistan. (There is another chapter to be written there by the Afghan people, say Smart Bomb's sources.) Breakthrough infections are becoming more common as Delta wreaks havoc across the country. At Delta Airlines, they prefer passengers refer to the Coronavirus as the "variant." But whatever you do when you're on a Delta flight, do not—repeat, do not—order a Corona beer! And one more caution: Don't put your head up the flight attendant's skirt. Long story, but it actually happened. The passenger was fined $9,000—but that was for not wearing a mask.

And since we're on Covid, let's pause for a moment and doff our caps to Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall for mandating masks in Salt Lake City schools despite the Legislature and Salt Lake County Commission that believe in your freedom to spread the virus. And finally this: After a rash of calls from poison centers, the FDA is advising vaccine critics not to use horse paste with ivermectin to fight Covid. "You are not a horse. You are not a cow," the agency tweeted, "Seriously, y'all. Stop it."

Well Wilson, after a hard week, some of the staff are considering the band's maxim: "When the going gets tough, the tough get drinking." It's not exactly rational, but it's better than horse paste. So anyway, tell the guys we need a tune to help us gird our loins ...

Sun's up ... looks okay
The world survives into another day
And I'm thinking 'bout eternity
Some kinda ecstasy got a hold on me

I had another dream about lions at the door
They weren't half as frightening as they were before
But I'm thinking 'bout eternity
Some kinda ecstasy got a hold on me

And I'm wondering where the lions are
I'm wondering where the lions are
Wondering where the lions are
Young men marching, helmets shining in the sun
Polished and precise like the brain behind the gun
Should be, they got me thinking about eternity
But some kinda ecstasy got a hold on me

And I'm wondering where the lions are
I'm wondering where the lions are
Wondering where the lions are
And I'm wondering where the lions are ...
"Wondering Where The Lions Are"—Bruce Cockburn

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