Thursday, February 15, 2007

some recent items

Skimble: "America's greatest hope: gradual decline"
[whatever you think of the sentiment, I note that a lot of this has been going around lately, such as this article by Chalmers Johnson and this item in Salon(from 2006)by Helena Cobban. -JV]

Avedon Carol: 'I've been thinkin'
I just want to say: The trouble with the "incompetence" meme is that it assumes Bush/Cheney/GOP are operating on the same theory of government as the rest of us are. And while it's true that they hired people who were not competent to run government according to the agenda of the US Constitution, and that they have not run government competently if that was there intention, it is not at all reasonable to assume they have been incompetent at achieving what they wanted. I still think people should talk more about the fact that they are running the country into the ground just the way they wanted to.

"What Reshaping the Middle East Really Means"
I read about this over the summer but not in this much convincing detail. Per usual, The Centre for Research on Globalization is way ahead of the curve. Yes, boys and girls, They aren't just considering literally redrawing the borders of countries, they're actually doing it. This was, as pointed out here (esp. in the first bullet point), part of the reason for the Lebanon War last summer. It comes on the heels of what we did in Afghanistan in the eighties and Bosnia in the nineties, in both cases with the help of Al Qaeda, and it may well be (and I hope it's not) one of the several purposes of making Iraq bleed. In this scenario, Iran would be lucky to be bombed, even with nuclear bunker busters, than to undergo the strife of its neighbors. At least they'd get to keep their land--a dubious gift top military planners aren't even granting our ally Turkey.

Heather Wokusch: 'It’s Not Just Bush: We’re Accountable Too'

Tom Engelhardt: Thelma and Louise Imperialism-- Over the Cliff with George and Dick?

Iraqi Konfused Kid writes:
I'm gonna tell you something that all the Iraqis who pretend they're full of pride and shit don't tell you, every Iraqi who knows what's good for him wants the US military plan to happen - it's a known fact today that while US soldiers do occasionally rape 15-year-olds and add naked photos of our hairy butts to their family albums, they are still infintely more trustworthy than any Iraqi soldier from anywhere. When an American soldier knocks on your door for a search, you go 'oh thank god' but when Iraqis do the same, you are instantly on your toes. Forget about all those Iraqis and Arab bloggers who live outside or have never been in there recently, they don't know what it is like - Iraq is dead - we are living in a newfound, and very real, age of sect. The intellects and all the other deadbeats like you and me who do nothing but bitch about how Iraq is great and how we had a beautiful country before the war are having a hard time accepting this, but they're going to have to deal with it.

(via Healing Iraq)

The pieces by Avedon and Rob strike me as especially prescient, and I may discuss them at some more length in a couple of days. I don't know how to evaluated "Iraqi Kid's" sentiments one way or another; I'm leery of accepting it as anything more than one person's frustration; not so much because of him saying something positive about the US presence-- I reject the notion that liberals must disavow anything and everything the American military does in Iraq-- but because later in his post he says that he hopes "they completely remove Sadr City and Adhamiya from the map."