Wednesday, December 20, 2006


MOBY DICK

Call me annoyed. Several weeks have passed and I still can’t help but marvel at Oedipus Lieberman, whom I’m officially renaming. Hey, renaming is as American as apple pie—Jay Gatz became Jay Gatsby; Marshall Mathers became Eminem; and hell, Hillary can’t decide if she is Hillary Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Billary Clinton—a renaming that remains in abeyance.

It’s official: Oedipus Lieberman has morphed into Captain Ahab, another tragically fueled figure. In this unfolding novel of contemporary American foreign policy, Melville’s masterpiece certainly comes to mind because as we grapple with how to “catch” some sort of success in Iraq, the ubiquitous presence in the American psyche, it eludes us just like the whale-the ubiquitous presence in the novel—escapes mad Ahab. And Ahab’s as deranged as they come. So is Lieberman.

While many in our ship of state have fully realized that the leviathan Iraq is Apocalypse Now, not Apocalypse Later, not Apocalypse On Hold because we want to avert a Vietnam redux, Captain Lieberman, in his insatiable megalomania, cannot help himself. He wants more troops. He wants more troops even as Chimpy equivocates. He wants more troops albeit Dodd and others with far more experience in foreign relations and armed services have said we are past the point of no return. He wants more troops even though it’s relatively clear that there is no military solution to the Iraq quagmire.

But like the maimed Ahab who once wrestled with his nemesis and sustained a loss, Captain Lieberman, who survived a primary loss to seek revenge in the general, cannot let go of that which has brought him so much agony: Iraq. And let’s hope that there really doesn’t exist some sort of symbolic parallel here: Ahab couldn’t extricate himself from what tormented him, and thus we leave him dejectedly strapped to the monster that subsequently brings his ship and him down.

6 comments:

IC said...

And President Bush is the Pequod.

IC said...

Why stop there with the revenge theme? No mention of Ishmael - the first son of Abraham who is banished, a biblical outcast whose descendents seek revenge millenia later? Alienated from society, Melville's Ishmael seeks refuge on the Pequod. This is analagous to Lieberman, smarting from his primary loss, burrowing even deeper into President Bush's side pocket.

The war in Iraq - our white whale as you dubbed most accurately - is indeed constantly on our mind. So why is it that we, the crew if you will, can see the forest from the trees? Why do President Bush and Captain Lieberman insist on adding more teeth and bones to their precious ship (the United States)?

It's time to bring 'er back to port.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!

Connecticut Man 1 said...

This is an awesome post! :)

Connecticut Man 1 said...

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays!

sptmck said...

Thanks! And a Happy Holidays to you.