Speaking at West Point, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates casually suggested that the US of A is “sick in the head,” and needs to see a shrink. After ten years into the Afghanistan war, eight years into the second Iraq war, with multiple ongoing “low-intensity” conflicts in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia and constant drumbeats for war against Iran, all while American warships are currently bearing down on Libya, Gates stepped aside the lectern, nonchalantly “opened his kimono” and said, “Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it.”
Gates briefly leant his pudgy frame upon the lectern with expert familiarity and self-possession before closing his kimono and returning to his otherwise disinterested cardboard platitudes about the future of American Exceptionalism abroad.
Standing in the wings quietly pounding a baseball bat in his palm, ever ready to burst an Arab bubble, blow three trillion bucks, kill a million innocent people, and crash the global economy “because we could,” was Tom “Tony Soprano” Friedman, wondering to his own goddamned self:
When one looks across the Arab world today at the stunning spontaneous democracy uprisings, it is impossible to not ask: What are we doing spending $110 billion this year supporting corrupt and unpopular regimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan that are almost identical to the governments we’re applauding the Arab people for overthrowing?
Wow, America, you’re not nearly as fucked in the head as we thought.