There's been an occasional bit of conventional wisdom among those who support military action in Iraq, and that is that if we back down after putting 250 thousand troops in the area and spouting off all the rhetoric that we have, then we will appear weak in the eyes of the world.
It's the "since we've gone this far, there's no turning back" argument.
This disturbing piece from the Village Voice shows that such reasoning has possibly entered the consumer sector:
FULL METAL BONNETHere's what we're talking about:
While Pentagon war planners may be gunning for an attack on Iraq by mid March, heavily armed soldiers have already quietly seized a strategic position: your Easter basket. National retailers like Kmart and Walgreens have stocked their shelves with baskets in which the traditional chocolate rabbit centerpiece has been displaced by plastic military action figures and their make-believe lethal paraphernalia. Tri-state Rite Aid, Genovese, and Wal-Mart stores promise their martial Easter baskets will arrive soon.
At the Astor Place Kmart, the encampment is on display just inside the main entrance. A camouflaged sandy-haired soldier with an American-flag arm patch stands alert in a teal, pink, and yellow basket beneath a pretty green-and-purple bow. Within a doll-arm's reach are a machine gun, rifle, hand grenade, large knife, pistol, and round of ammunition. In the next basket a buzz-cut blond with a snazzy dress uniform hawks over homeland security, an American eagle shield on his arm, and a machine gun, pistol, Bowie knife, two grenades, truncheon, and handcuffs at the ready.
One must hunt a little harder to find the Easter sniper at Walgreens, but what lies in wait among the bunnies and chicks there is perhaps even more surreal. The Super Wrriors (sic) Battle Set and Placekeepers (sic) Military Men Play Set bristle with toy assault rifles and machine guns, tanks, troop transports, bomber planes, commanded by armored men with shaved heads and sunglasses. The assortment also includes a space-age ray gun and other imaginary hardware for orbital combat. Packets of jellybeans are tossed in as if an afterthought, nestled in the cellophane underbrush like anti-personnel mines.
And if we don't go to war, what are we gonna do? Tell these companies to get rid of all the GI Joe baskets and bring back, you know, bunnies? Yes, this is surreal.
(link via patrick)