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Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Withdrawal Project

A friend of this site wrote us and asked, LI, what is this Withdrawal Project?

So, here is what I have been thinking. I need to talk to an animator for the graphics, talk to an actor or actress - preferably not a white male, but a voice and presence that has the multi-culty appeal - and then do a script that would basically take us through Iraq - here's how we got here, here's what is happening, here's how we can get out. I'm best scripting this and spotting what would need to be done. I can imagine power pointish episodes like: dancing around the hole, or, not enough soldiers is always going to be not enough soldiers, which would briefly revisit the early plans, point out that the undermanning back then was not a mistake of the warplanners but grew out of an essential assumption of the war – that the U.S. could host a long range war without making any sacrifices – and that the undermanning has lasted up until this day, and is never going to be fixed. (To fix it would mean throwing in manpower that we don’t have, at a cost we won’t accept, for a time period that is extended past the breaking point, especially as this diversion of resources really will leave the U.S. vulnerable in o so many other ways). The presentation would find ways to emphasize the size of Iraq and the littleness of the American presence. The episodes, as per Gore’s power point presentation, would be graph and comparison heavy. I’m pretty sure one can now embed vid clips in a presentation – and they are abundant.

Half of the presentation would be scenarios, starting with
what was just vetoed, going into having zero American soldiers in Iraq
by January of 2009.

If this happened, the point would be to get people to do withdrawal
projects on their own, in their own communities. It would be filmed, ideally, but the main thing is to put it on, have people come out to see a presentation. Get on their feet. Not look at this at home, or send another donation to another organization – which is just a way of being lazy. It would be open source, some group wanting to give a Withdrawal party could simply use the materials and add others. It be
nice, if this actually worked, to contact Iraqis, to have withdrawal parties in both countries. As the materials circulate, of course, people add to or change them.

This just occured to me while I was jogging the other day. At the moment, I’m living on saltines and hoping for payday from this big project – but the lovely ready will give me some free time, and maybe I can put up a notice, see if I can get some bites. I like the idea of Withdrawal parties, of it being open sourced. Fantasizing, if this really did get to prototype stage then I'd send off, perhaps, a few begging letters. Jane Fonda is perhaps a person I'd target for donation. I don’t know, I imagine there is some Hollywood liberal willing to put in 2-5 thousand dollars to see if this would work. Withdrawal parties springing up in the spring of 2008 would certainly be nice. So far, the political forms have all been – pay attention to me. And the Bush response, much like its junta beginnings, has been not to play that game. So the very form of the demonstration has been an impediment to action. This form is simply – let’s pay attention. It would operate on different tracks and trails, like rave culture. And if done right, it will attract attention in itself.

That's it. Simple, but perhaps I should do this. What do you think?

ps - I've talked to a few people about what I should do - where I should look for a power point expert, or if power point is what I am even looking for. It still looks like I will be going to the RTF department next week and putting up some notices. Tomorrow I will post ( I think) about an un_Iraq related topic. Those of you who are my regular readers, though - I beg you, take this seriously and lend me your thoughts. I am serious. Though it may sound wildly improbable, this country really is waiting for something like Withdrawal parties. The failure of the politics that would have kept this country from getting into the war, or kept the occupation short, or have questioned, by the end of May 2003, the outlines of the occupation program - which was there for anybody to read - has been a failure that keeps on giving. Every six months another failure, every election a failure, every successful election a failure. The policy elite has triumphed in this country over everything except reality - reality has smashed all of their schemes to bits. But far from poisoning the words in their mouths, they still lie like barbie and ken dolls with lie recorders in them. Read the Washington Post - a fascinating adventure in deconstructive detection work - any day in the week and you can track the lies and the further lies to cover the older, worn out ones. And - contravening the sticks and stones law about words - these words have broken bones, heads, a culture, a state. These lies have ripped up families, have produced the social breakdown leading to the present Thugocracy in both Iraq and D.C., and stick to us all, day and night, like curses. It's a night battle, and it has to be joined simply by getting out of your fucking seat and joining it. Like the hokey pokey - that's what it's all about!


Scruggs said...

Don't forget the tea bags, Roger! And yes, it should be done. I'll see if I can get my act together enough to be of some assistance.

roger said...

Ah, Mr. Scruggs, actually, one of the collateral benefits to doing this is - it would put the whole Politics is choosing a Party syndrome on hold. I perfectly understand why liberals vote Democratic and conservatives vote Republican - it is because, except for a small and insane minority, nobody wants to devote a lot of time to politics. Everybody wants to devote some time to it, though. As in everything else, one the one side you have inertia, on the other side, insanity. Between these two forces, one blazes the smallest of trails. But in the fourth year of the war, we are in a situation that reminds me of - what is that hymn by Martin Luther? - "Once to eeeevvveery man aaaand nation/comes aaaa mommmeeent to decide/in the something something of truth or falsehood/for theeeee goood or evil side." A favorite mine when I was a wee little fuckwad back in Clarkston, Georgia, singing in the Southern Baptist pews.

The Withdrawal parties should be sorta the political equivalent of Revival - ah, that old baptist standby. You must be born again, brothers and sisters, out of the floodtides of Iraqi blood, into the new dispensation of zero American troops in Iraq in 2009.