The Cruelty of Willful Ignorance and the Covid Crisis

I stopped by Page against the Machine Bookstore on my way home from the grocery store yesterday evening and found a flyer announcing a protest rally against “W” on Monday, September 20, at the Legacy Theater in downtown Long Beach, where the former President will be presented as part of a “Distinguished Speaker” series. Granted, the protest is warranted, though the lingering echoes of outrage over an unjustified invasion of Iraq in March, 2003 only prove the futility of rational objection to paranoid foreign policy. Did I know for certain that Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction? Yeah. As a matter of fact, I would have bet my life on it. If one invades a neighbor’s house on the belief that they possess a bomb that is going to be place in your driveway, and you start killing people in that neighbor’s house, and then you don’t find a bomb, well, you better expect that you will be charged with first-degree murder. Bush, of course, is hardly the only one to be responsible for the travesty of the invasion of Iraq, and I’m not talking about just Cheney and Rumsfeld. Joseph Biden voted to authorize that invasion in October, 2002. How can he not claim to be an accomplice?

The cruelty of willful ignorance has come full circle recently with the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan. It may be the case that very few Americans are calling their congressional representatives to demand accountability for the deplorable lack of gullibility on Biden’s part. How could he have served so long in the U.S. Senate and not learned a basic lesson about our intelligence operations. They almost always get it wrong, and one is best off planning with a worst-case scenario. Did I expect the Afghanistan government to hold out for several months against the Taliban? Are you kidding? Six days, maybe, at the most, and withdrawal planning should have been calibrated with that likelihood in mind.

Both Bush and Biden: guilty of willful ignorance.

Even so, at least their advisors are aware that Long Beach is a relatively safe place to visit at this point in the pandemic. According to the most recent edition of the Grunion Gazette, almost 78 percents of eligible adults in Long Beach have received one dose of a covid vaccine, and 65 percent are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, in Idaho, health care is being rationed. It’s my understanding that only around 40 percent of the eligible population in Idaho has been vaccinated. What I can’t figure out is why anyone who has refused to get vaccinated should be given medical attention ahead of someone who is having a heart attack or has been seriously injured in a car crash?

Imagine this: two ambulances arrive at a hospital in Boise, Idaho.

One has a critically injured woman whose car was hit by a repeat offender drunk driver. She is 72 years old, and a widow whose children have moved to Seattle and Portland. She was in the car by herself when the drunk driver hit her car.

The other ambulance is conveying a self-employed carpenter who is the father of three children. He is 40 years old, and in otherwise good health. He has repeatedly refused to get vaccinated.

Which person gets the last ICU bed?

If you are a male doctor in Idaho, it won’t take long to make your choice. The man will get the ICU bed, even though the woman’s injuries are perfectly treatable in “normal” times. Perhaps the woman lives, although the agony she endures and slow recuperation only aggravate the memories of how she has been deliberately discarded by a system designed to hide its evil intent.

And if you don’t see the connection between that doctor’s choice and the invasion of Iraq coupled with the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan, then I assure you that we don’t have much to talk about, do we? If you do see the connection, then let do more than simply protest Bush’s latest effort to charm people’s memories. Let us remember that we can never let down our guard. There are forces at work in this country that intend to do us harm, often under the guise of judicial neutrality in enforcing constitutional law. Unlike those who claimed that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, I am not imagining things. Let us, therefore, not be willfully ignorant of the scale of the threats that well-educated individuals are facing in this country.

Comments are closed.