Maybe it’s the mood that both an anvil of a headache and reading Mark Steyn’s America Alone have put me in, but when the circle were gathered and in the process of doing unto Jammer, I kept thinking “There are only so many young men of military age left in the colonies. You’re going to need this guy one day.”
What’s true in those colonies is also true in the colonies we currently call Europe — there’s a need for military age men and the will to fight, but neither are in evidence. In fact, if our moral betters on the left were really against colonialism and imperialism per se, they would be the ones raising the alarm at what Steyn sees going on across the continent. But they’re not, and I digress.
So in the wake of the occupation and collaboration, we get Truth and Reconciliation. Given the work I’ve been doing lately on collaborators during the last war, I found this part logically inevitable yet unsatisfying. The fact is, collaborators are untrustworthy and will collaborate again, given half a chance.
Like the Cylon occupation, there was a certain logic to collaborating with the Soviets during the Cold War. Collaborating was a way to get with what looked like the winning side. It was a way of buying security before your side fell. Among American elites as Vietnam fell and Watergate grew there was, then as there is now as Iraq teeters and the war looks daunting, a strain of defeatism in the face of what looked like a colossal enemy. For some, like Ronald Reagan, that strain had to be fought even while fighting the Soviets. For others, apparently Sen. Ted Kennedy among them, the logic of defeatism opened the path to collaboration. It was a way of getting on the winning side, and preserving his political viability. That move is as old as Josephus, and probably older. It shouldn’t shock us that some Americans were disposed to help the Soviets, and that some of those collaborators were in high positions. But it should shock us that average Americans keep the likes of Kennedy in power decade after decade. And anyway, so it was with the ambitious among the colonists on New Caprica. The collaborationists on New Caprica and in Washington turned out to be wrong, but Sen. Kennedy has yet to answer for his actions. His name will protect him.
I suppose BSG’s producers are making some moral equivalence connections between insurgents on New Caprica and Iraq, and the Iraqi police and military we are standing up as “collaborationists.” If that’s their intent, then they’re as morally muddled as anyone else in Hollywood. And they’re hopelessly mired in the kind of relativism that has got us to the point we’re at vis a vis the current world situation. So I hope that’s not their intent, though I suspect that it is. It’s lost on them that the insurgents in Iraq are either fighting to expand the jihad or to settle tribal scores. They’re aren’t preserving anything. It’s the Iraqis, whom the BSG producers would dub collaborationists, who risk their lives to stop the insurgents who are fighting and dying to preserve their country and way of life.
In all, the anvil headache held my attention better than BSG did tonight. The scenes with Baltar at least advanced toward the other logically inevitable turn, which is the revelation of his status as more than a run-of-the-mill collaborator.