Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Never send an idealogue to do a politician's work

So I just finished Naomi Klein's article "Baghdad In Year Zero" in the September 2004 Harpers, and let's just say I'm apalled but unsuprised. Everyone saying "they didn't have a plan" in reference to the administration is sadly mistaken. They DID have a plan, and they executed it - nearly perfectly too. The resulting chaos certainly gives the appearence of not having a plan, but that's just because the dorks who created the policy live in a Straussian dreamworld, and they always have.

One could have seen this coming. My old roomate in SF and I did, back when Bush was first selected. I turned to him and said, "Well, it looks like we going to invade...". "Iraq, and probably Afgahnistan," he interupted. These people were totally and utterly open about what they wanted to do from the get go. All you had to do was watch C-SPAN late enough at night to catch some forum or other from Heritage, or surf the PNAC website, or read Dick Cheney's letter to Clinton from 1998(I don't think it's online anymore, but it was back during 2000).

On the nightly news the causes of the insurgency have taken a back seat to the sheer spectacle(duh), but it really would be nice if just one reporter pointed out that the reason there are so many people with guns and truck bombs pointed at our troops might just have something to do with policy decisions we made at the begining of the occupation. But really, why bother? Doesn't make for good TV.

Now I can hear Hitchens or Horowitz or someone saying, "You're taking sides with the jihadists, you're making excuses for them you're a traitor like Michael Moore blah blah blah". I'd probably answer similar to the way Horowitz did when he was at the Commonwealth Club a while back. "Bwmuuh."(Unfortunately it's not in the written transcript, but you can hear it on the audio. He was answering a question he himself posed as to what "the liberals" would say if he told them they were all communists). But, me I prefer butchered English to butchered Cave-Man(everyone with half a brain knows that the proper Cave-Man expression in that situation is "Hngrurrr", but, like so much else, Horowitz gets that wrong). So I'll say instead that everyone has a choice, and I agree that I'd prefer someone didn't choose to pick up a gun and start hating my country. However, I also think if these folks were supposed to be the enlightened invaders shouldering the white man's burden, it's incumbent upon those supposedly superior intellects to investigate the best way to win the populace over peacfully. Otherwise, you just make more terrorists. It's that whole "dealing with people" thing. See, the war on terror is kind of a numbers game. You'd think Wolfowitz, the mathematcian, would understand that. You have to starve the freakin' beast. But that takes analysis, cultural insight, interest in the human and psychological factors, and compromise. In a word, politics. And these folks have never been any good at it.
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