In the Shadow of Self-Delusion

As our nation prepares for war against—depending on the mood of the president—al Qaeda, Iraq, or unnecessarily big words (such as "civil liberties"), it is a sober time in America, and that's a good thing. Serious times make for serious people, and in our nation's capital that means no longer "business as usual." For example, the halls of Congress used to be filled with pushy lobbyists passing out large amounts of cash and pressing their narrow agendas. But now when they do that, they wear those little American flag lapel pins. What a difference!

Yes, it's a new day in America, a time to recommit ourselves to the common good, a time to make the sacrifices called for in a time of war, and, above all, a time to move our cash into offshore accounts.

Of course, I'm not talking about regular people like you, because you don't have any cash. Nope, you foolishly put your savings into "fly-by-night" companies whose very names should have raised suspicions. Companies such as AT&T (Come on, spell it out! What are they trying to hide!), AOL-Time Warner (so, like, which is it?), and Johnson & Johnson (what, Smith & Smith wasn't available?) were among many companies whose stock prices are now lower than Jerry Springer's threshold of decency.

But we can't worry about our personal concerns now because, as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has emphasized, our nation is under the "shadow of war," and that changes everything. (Actually, "shadow of war" was the administration's second choice after "shadow of gargantuan self-delusion" was rejected because staffers felt it might undermine the president's ability to interrupt a meeting on, say, corporate malfeasance and suddenly blurt out, "Ooh, I know! Let's have a war!")

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Sojourners Magazine January-February 2003
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