Iraq is our Very Own Tar Baby

Posted: June 9, 2007 in Politics

As I listen to, view, and read about, our adventures in Iraq and all the wailing about how we have such a low possibility of real success therein, I am reminded of the Uncle Remus story that was the outgrowth of the movie Song of the South. Who can forget Bre’r Rabbit’s continuously outwitting both Bre’r Bear and Bre’r Fox? One of the more inventive devices was successful in trapping Bre’r Fox.

So the story goes: Bre’r Rabbit took some tar, on a very hot summer’s day, and fashioned it into the model of a baby. Along comes Bre’r Fox. He sees the tar baby and stops to talk to it. When it didn’t answer, Bre’r Fox gets angry. He warns the uncommunicative character that if he doesn’t answer him he was going to hit him. Still, there was no answer. So, Bre’r Fox plants a well placed jab smack dab in the belly of the tar baby. As Bre’r Fox couldn’t remove his hand from the tar baby’s middle, he was further enraged. Instead of patiently and slowly pulling his hand out Bre’r Fox impatiently struck again with his free hand; and that is stuck. To get those two appendages out, he kicks – first with one foot, then the other.

Along comes Bre’r Bear. “Uhh, what’cha doin’?” he asks.

“Fool, I’m trying to get unstuck. Help me out!” was Bre’r Fox’s reply.

At that, Bre’r Bear takes hold of the tar-baby and proceeds to pull. This, of course, results in Bre’r Bear getting both hands stuck. To get out, Bre’r Bear places, first one then the other, foot against the tar-baby. What a sight, that was! Both characters were firmly stuck up to their elbows and knees in the hot soft tar that was a tar baby before they started.

When Bre’r Rabbit happened along, he acted as if he didn’t know what was going on. “What are you two doing?” he asked.

“Any fool can see we are stuck in this here baby!” exclaimed Bre’r Fox, “Help us out!”

At that, Bre’r Rabbit began to laugh and laugh. “I guess I’m not just any fool. I don’t see a baby. It looks to me like a big blob of tar.”

Do I have to draw the connection for you, dear reader? I hope not. If I do, I’m probably being read by an arch-conservative that writes witless missives that are designed to salve fellow arch-conservative wounds at seeing themselves refusing to see the realities in Iraq; and trying to find a positive side to the big blob of tar we’ve gotten ourselves into.


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