Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sucker's Progress


An anonymous Corner reader is trying to make poor Jonah Goldberg feel better about the Iraq War. It's a bit like watching a pig get fed on latrine waste, but without the moral uplift.

This ministering angel offers four points, each of which is quite literally more deranged than the last.

The Iraq war was not a mistake. It is easy to forget in the spectacle of watching the Iraqis butcher each other trying to build a stable government, but much was accomplished with this war:

1. The toppling of a regime that was a constant threat to its neighbors and, potentially at least, to us.
That's setting the bar pretty low. Hell, I'll give a shiny new penny to anyone who can name a country that is not, "potentially at least," a threat to the United States.
2. Removing the Iraqi threat allowed us to move our troops out of Saudi Arabia. The US presence in the Kingdom was the #1 motivator for Bin Ladenism, and the long term benefits this will have after Iraq are hard to calculate but will no doubt be significant.
In other words, we had to invade Iraq, depose a secular dictator, and create a fractious Islamic republic so that we could appease Bin Laden by closing the Prince Sultan Air Base. I must say, I'm amazed Bush didn't just come out and explain that in the first place.

Perhaps we could strike a further blow against "Bin Ladenism" by giving the Palestinians control of East Jerusalem?
3. Worst possible case scenario, we retreat to Kurdistan. No matter what happens in Greater Iraq, the liberation of the Kurds and the implantation of a nascent democracy there is a genuine success.
The Weimar Republic was a "nascent democracy" too, but few people would call it a genuine success. Anyway, what happens in "Greater Iraq" from here on out could certainly affect the viability of a Kurdish state. And unless I'm mistaken, Turkey has some rather strong opinions on the subject of Kurdish autonomy, as do Iran and Syria.
4. Also in the worst case scenario, we retreat not only to Kurdistan, but also to Kuwait. The virtual military encirclement of Iran will remain, and that is important. An encircled Iran, even with a nuke, is a far different scenario than the opposite.
This sounds an awful lot like the strategery formerly known as containment, the moral idiocy of which was tirelessly denounced by the PNAC's mouthpieces in the run-up to the invasion.

I'm accustomed to feeling ideologically disoriented in George W. Bush's America, but nothing so far has prepared me for the proposition that invading Iraq was a Good Thing because we can retreat to Kuwait (where we've had a strong military presence for fifteen fucking years), "encircle Iran," and keep a watchful eye on any nukes it might develop.

In case you're wondering, this outlandish babbling did indeed cheer Jonah up, and will probably comprise a conservatarian article of faith by morning.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,—you’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.
(Painting by John Zeigler, via Thrift Store Art.)

5 comments:

Apprentice to Darth Holden said...

4. Also in the worst case scenario, we retreat not only to Kurdistan, but also to Kuwait. The virtual military encirclement of Iran will remain, and that is important. An encircled Iran, even with a nuke, is a far different scenario than the opposite.

Um, Isn't this more or less the SAME situation we had in oh, I don't know, January of 2003 before we fucked up and invaded?

Nanette said...

Sounds more like Jonah's letter writer thinks we can chant and make the walls fall down... which I guess must be the purpose of encircling a country and its nuke.

It really is amazing, the things they tell themselves - and seem to actually believe! That's the weird part. I can understand hype, and rah rah, rally the base and get them to swallow six inane notions before breakfast and all that, but then you realize that some of these highly public people are really serious about this stuff.

I think deranged is a good word for it.

On another note, what a great find that Thrift Shop Art site is, Phila. I love thrift shops but some of the paintings you see in them are very strange, even if some of them I'd like a closer look at... but not enough to buy one. I always wonder about the people in the (usually not so well done) portraits... who they are, where they were, why the painting was in the shop and so on. Anyway, with that site one can get all the enjoyment of the often odd art found in thrift shops... without actually having to have any of it in your home! So, thanks for that.

The one you've chosen to illustrate the post is perfect, too.

(I hope this comment only comes through once... Blogger is having issues.)

ntodd said...

And in the worst-worst case scenario, when the creepy space aliens invade, we can hide in the bunkers Saddam built under his palaces!

Phila said...

Anyway, with that site one can get all the enjoyment of the often odd art found in thrift shops... without actually having to have any of it in your home! So, thanks for that.

Glad you like it! This painting's from 1946, which I thought was kind of interesting.

I enjoy dragging pictures up for my posts. I started doing it to give myself a little more impetus, at a time when I was very tired of blogging daily. Having a picture I liked at the top made things seem a little more pleasant, like painting an open window on the wall of a cell. Now, I sometimes spend more time looking for pictures than writing posts!

Nanette said...

Having a picture I liked at the top made things seem a little more pleasant, like painting an open window on the wall of a cell.

Oh dear... that bad, was it? ;) The pictures do add the perfect little topper to the posts, I think. I often spend time studying them first, before going on to read the post itself (and then figuring out how the picture fits in, which is usually pretty clear after the reading).