As the troops flooded into Iraq I watched and was puzzled by a term that kept being used for the forces of the United States.
The American Press kept talking about “the Americans”.
I kept thinking “why aren’t they saying ‘us’?”
Because it was, and is, “us”.
“Some Americans” are who that term encompasses – who they are talking about - but they are “us”.
And it is – to me – unnerving: that that protocol – “the Americans” - has persisted to this moment.
It is never “us” in the news stories from all the stupid places where our stupid leaders keep deploying our hopelessly naïve volunteer forces; it is always “the Americans”.
That is not “us”.
That is some trumped up oblique and false allusion to a patriotic ideal.
“Us” is our kids.
“Us” is our blood.
“Us” is who we saw on TV in 1967.
Being maimed and killed in Vietnam.
But that accurate TV news made for bad politics.
And we don’t need no bad politics around here.
How nice to have all that sanitized to “the Americans” – some efficient, I guess, third party representing the United States of America on some sort of contract basis.
Did the news coverage of Normandy in 1944 relegate those brave men and their families on the other side of the Atlantic to being “the Americans”?
Or were they “us”?
I think the latter; and that is one of the many things that indicate the imminent decline of “us” – “the Americans”.
We farm out everything to some “other” and then stand aside and take pot shots when the contractors don’t perform to expectation.
And donnie is the best of breed of that paltry caste.
Of pot shot takers.
America apparently deserves that sort of paucity.
When we accepted “the Americans” (some antiseptic third party for whom we have no responsibility, or even blood connection) we bought the lamb stew and sold our birthright.