I saw an interesting comment in yesterday's book salon over at Firedoglake, with Jacob Heilbrunn, the author of They Knew They Were Right - The Rise Of The Neocons. The following comment was made by Heilbrunn, the book's author:
"One thing that hasn’t been picked up in the media is the extent to which McCain’s emphasis on valor mirrors the neocon belief in manliness, the title of a recent book by Harvard Professor and neocon Harvey Manfield. In short, the neocons believe that the battlefield is the greatest test of manhood. So does McCain."
Diplomacy takes great skill, great intellect, great intuition, and time. It requires reaching out to the other. It requires listening, and synthesis of other ideas with your own. It requires creativity and openness to new solutions. But diplomacy, intellect, intuition, listening, openness, creativity, integration, synthesis and the skill of negotiation have the taint of femininity to them. The smell of woman. The audacity of Eve, biting into the forbidden apple of knowledge. Of compromise. Of acquiescence. Diplomacy is too soft, too quiet, too weak, too anticlimactic. There's no surge. There's no glory. There's just peace.
It's interesting to me that the Neocons who have driven us into this unending battle in Iraq, who lust for a new battle in Iran, have never been on the battlefield (Cheney, Bush, Libby, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Podhoretz, John Bolton, Yoo, William Kristol). They become manly by pushing us into war, and by running the war, and maintaining the war. They become manly by pushing the button to drop or scatter the big bombs, or shooting off their big, fat rockets. They become manly by purchasing and deploying the fastest planes, the most planes, the biggest ships. They become manly by running multinational corporations, or by helping multinationals gains huge profits through the war machinery.
They become manly by befriending, and partnering financially with, misogynistic Saudi oilmen, kings and sheiks in dresses, and dictators who suppress and harm women.
They become manly by association, not by truly being tested on the battlefield. They are limp dicks, who can only get hard by whipping primarily young, poor, undereducated men and women soldiers into an ideological frenzy, or into a false sense of patriotic fervor against fabricated threats of terror or destruction to their family, their town, their country. These men and women soldiers are the only ones who actually get "tested" on the battlefield - by the reality of blood and gore and carnage and murder and destruction of property and unfairness and rape. They lose their friends, their limbs, themselves.
Meanwhile, the Neocons grow rich from conquest. And in their arrogance, these manly men, manly by association only, consider the troops as disposable, as well as the people of the nations we invade and occupy. It's manly to blow things up. To kill civilians. To destroy property and history and art and civilizations. It's manly to build new garish embassies and permanent military bases, monuments to their Viagra-propped-up penises, upon sacred ground.
I think I'd take diplomacy any day. But then again, I'm a woman. And even though I've been known to make a few dicks hard in my time, I'm certainly not manly.