Monday, July 23, 2007

Iraq defense:conscience::oil:truth

Thomas Sowell proves that one can make a good point once the Bush talking points have been torturously worked through:

What has gone right is that the Iraq war is already over. Our troops won it.

Ever since then, we've merely been...preoccupied.

But our politicians may once more lose the peace - and with disastrous consequences for us and for the world.

We have to find the peace before we lose it again! Maybe it's hiding with the weapons of mass destruction.

Peace has not been achieved in Iraq, though pacification continues - always at a cost in American lives - and shows signs of progress, much to the dismay of those who have bet their political future on an American defeat. ...

1) "Pacification" is a term used most often to refer to subjugation of a people by colonial powers. It was also the term of choice for OCP in the RoboCop films when referring to driving people out of their homes and streets. Sowell's use of the term is an unfortunate Freudian slip.

2) A three-legged human emerging from a scorched, post-nuclear wasteland is also, technically, progress, though the real issue is that the bomb went off and there's nowhere to go but up.

3) Anti-Iraq politicians are not betting anything on defeat! The defeat is already there, which Sowell himself is about to admit. If anything, it is the Bush administration that is betting on defeat, seeing as how they refuse to back down and apparently see nothing wrong with the status quo.

That is the direction in which the defeatists are moving, as politicians who have never deployed troops, or even worn a military uniform, speak loftily of "redeployment," as if they actually know what they are talking about.

At this point, Sowell starts to sound conflicted. In mid-sentence, he changes from attacking the Democrats (whom he has stated want the war to fail) to the White House (who have never served in uniform). Unless he's just being unintentionally ironic.

The great tragic failure in Iraq has been political failure, not military failure. ...

Nations cannot be built. You can transplant institutions from one country to another, but you cannot transplant the history and culture from which the attitudes and traditions evolved that enable those institutions to work. ...

People will support tyranny before they will support anarchy. ...

Trying to create democracy in places where it has never existed - and where the prerequisites for democracy may not exist - has been a needless gamble. ...

Good for Sowell to come around, even if he had to wade through history's stupidest talking points to reach that conclusion.

I've argued for a long time that democracy is a political system best promoted by its everyday benefits. Maybe if the United States would live up to its ideals, rather than force them on the world like the world's most aggressive Jehovah's Witness, then other countries would adopt them naturally. As it is, the war on terror has resulted in a lot fewer civil liberties here at home, while we hypocritically point weapons at the countries least receptive to democracy on a good day. And this is definitely not that day.

In the past, I've pulled for the people of Iraq - both the ones hurt by Saddam Hussein's regime and those currently affected by U.S. actions. But now I'm wondering if I should care at all anymore. It's difficult to listen to the White House talk about how much we're supposedly doing for Iraq, when the same mouths won't pay so much as lip service to New Orleans. Which, for those of you currently being cheated by No Child Left Behind, is actually within our shores.

Maybe isolationism isn't such a bad idea. It seems to suit our leaders' tastes pretty well.

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