Remember the glory days when we met our enemy on the battlefield, certain of our cause and confident that no amount of diplomacy could check the engines of terror?
I don’t, of course, but my oldest brother and I like to talk about World War II with a sort of desperate longing and an endless admiration for the men and women involved in the Allied campaign. These days the lines are muddier (oilier) and the enemies of freedom seem to be more products of post-industrial greed than any real ideological schism. The terrorism of radical Islam can’t be met directly on the battlefield and offers the quagmire we’re still struggling to escape in the wake of George W. Bush’s presidency. Which is not to say it isn’t a battle worth fighting, but not by traditional means.
The reckless agendas of corporations, however obviously villainous, aren’t generating the outrage one might hope for. The catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico may be some sort of tipping point, but it will require President Obama to mobilize the public and articulate their frustrations. Something remarkable began happening this week as Obama’s careful reactions to the developing economic and ecological disaster gave way to action. Read the rest of this entry »