Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Empire of Stupidity

Tom Engelhardt

But why go on? Only in Washington would such a consistent record of woeful failure lead to "stalemate." Only in Washington would a group of officials with such a record still be able to set the basic ground rules for debate. No individual would go back to the lot that sold you a string of automotive lemons, or let the doctor who had repeatedly misdiagnosed your disease (and maybe killed your neighbor with an overdose of anesthetic), operate on you.

In relation to Iraq, the situation can be summed up this way: The greatest gamblers in our history rolled the dice for a long-desired invasion, based on a dream of dominating the oil heartlands of the planet. This vision of a Pax Americana planet was based on the vaunted ability of the highest-tech military anywhere to dominate all in its path. (Domestically, a high-tech, well-oiled, utterly disciplined Republican Party was to establish political and lobbying dominion - a Pax Republicana - over Washington and the nation for a generation or more to come). On both imagined dominions, as on everything else, they were wrong. They were, that is, wrong in their expectations at the planetary level, and they have been wrong at every lesser level ever since. It has proven to be a cavalcade of stupidity.

If you take just the situation in Iraq in six-month increments, starting with the taking of Baghdad in 2003, any reasonable assessment would conclude that the American position has weakened and the country grown more chaotic, dangerous, and murderous in each of them. There is no reason to believe that, under the ministrations of this President, this Vice-President, these officials, and this set of military commanders anything could possibly change for the better as long as we remain stuck on the idea of occupying Iraq.

That's the logic of recent history. If you prefer the logic of dreams and of an empire of stupidity, then do stick with the present "stalemate."

Otherwise, it would make more sense to play an opposite's game with whatever positions the President and his officials take. Your odds on being right are guaranteed to be phenomenally high. Why, in fact, listen to them for one more second? Why be forced to look back and say "Wrong again!" one more time?

"The logic of dreams and an empire of stupity" sums up Bush/Cheney and their remaining supporters rather well, I think. It's too bad there's going to be so much misery and woe undoing what they've done.

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