Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fools and their fooling

Someone named Michael Knight wants you to know that, while this development gives him big sads because it's so utterly shocking, shocking given the degree to which the U.S. "...laid the foundations for (post-Saddam Iraq's) democratic traditions..., "Iraq is unraveling".

Excuse me while I take a moment to shove my arm in my mouth to keep from becoming hysteric.

You mean that by invading a precariously cobbled post-Ottoman multiethnic kleptocratic peri-state (rich with a tradition of dictatorial strongmen and winner-take-all politics), proceeding to devastate the physical and economic landscape while enabling the Shiite and Kurdish elements that were the last men standing after we defenestrated the Tikriti mafia, we then left behind a perilously unstable entity that is now in the process of deconstructing into a Maliki dictatorship amid the political, social and economic wreckage that "shock and awe" and a horrendously mismanaged occupation produced?

Really? Really?

No shit, Sherlock.

But the best part of the Foreign Policy article is here: "The United States laid the foundations for these democratic traditions, and can still be a powerful voice in getting Iraq back on track."

What Iraqi with a functioning brain cell would want the United States anywhere within the maximum effective range of anything to do with the governance of Iraq? Is this Knight guy completely whack? Does he think that in a mere decade the Iraqis have forgotten Viceroy Bremer and his shambolic Coalition Provisional Authority? Forgotten checkpoint shootings, arbitrary detentions, Blackwater goons shooting up random streets, bags of unmarked cash filling unnammed pockets? Forgotten the massive corruption, colossal ignorance, and hubris we showed turning up with a 30 round magazine and a copy of Atlas Shrugged, ready to hustle the East?

Every so often I am reminded that "we" as in We the People (and particularly We the People in our representatives in the U.S. government) really haven't the slightest clue what we look like from the outside. People like this Knight, who seems to have actually been there and done that, and yet still seem to think that we have anything to say to Iraq and the Iraqis other than "Oops, my bad."

I'll be the first to say that I hope that the U.S. government and its foreign policy agencies have some sort of idea how to help this place that we knocked down because of some lying grifters' lies and then turned upside-down and shook until its face turned red.

But I'll also be the first to admit that we didn't have a goddamn idea when we had thousands of armed soldiers there on how to actually do that. And that for someone, anyone, to try and pretend - and con the U.S. public into believing - that we now have anything more than a whisper of a hope in hell?

In a just world that person would be kicked in the ass so hard that he would be unable to sit down for a week.

But it is symptomatic of the world we have created that the ass of Mr. Knight and those like him in our government and our punditry will remain as soft and pillowy as a fluffy white cloud.

While the asses of those people who paid the bitter price for the lies and the illusions of Mr. Knight and his ilk will be sore as boils assuming that those poor bastards are still alive to feel the pain.

And there is just no damn justice in that at all.


  1. Interesting article Chief! I will not disagree with your opinion of the author Michael Knights and those like him. I was fascinated though by some of the 100+ comments to his article: monkeys flinging shit at each other is all I can think of.

    Knights' article does do one righteous thing though By highlighting the mess in Iraq perhaps the mainline media will take notice and let the vast majority of the American people know what a monster we have crested because of Junior's relationship with his father and Cheney's wetdreams.

  2. The frustrating part, mike, is that whether or not this sort of reportage dredges up the Mess-o-potamia I would bet you all the money in my pocket against all the money in yours that the resulting attitude will be indistinguishable from Knight's; that those damn ragheads fucked up all the democratically delicious free-market goodness we gifted them and now we have to go in and unfuck their pooch.

    I have NO faith - none at all - that any more than the small percentage that already acknowledge it will accept that the U.S. took a fucked up place and fucked it up worse and then grabbed a hat.

    The worst element of this article is Knight's premise that the U.S. was actually trying to do anything other than make a power play in the Middle East and through incompetence and hubris unleashed this gawdawful mess. The consequence being that there is no reason not to try it again, only "better", right? Like in, say, Syria?

    For fuck's sake...

  3. @FDChief: "... and now we have to go in and unfuck their pooch."

    You are a bit more cynical than I Chief (if that is possible). I think that, for now anyway, you will not find a majority in this country for going back to Iraq. Sure there are still some whackos out there, I know a few of them who are my neighbors and occasional golf or fishing partners who think we should never have left. But even they will admit that the economy should take precedence.

    Not to say the country won't change its collective mind in the future if we ever get our fiscal house in order. But for now I believe that the average Joe and Jenny are more interested in staying home and watching Jodi Arias. Thank God went that particular charade is over.

  4. No, no, mike, I'm not saying that we WILL, or that anything more than the usual 27% of the clinically brain-dead would actually agitate for that. I'm just saying that they will AGREE with Knight that in a perfect world with magical ponies that we SHOULD do it.

    So, no, this won't get any traction beyond the sitting-on-the-couch stage. But the high degree of agreement I bet this guy gets suggests that the constituency is still there for ANOTHER idiotic adventure if it's sold the right way. The Iraq Clown Show has folded, but the audience for clowning is still sitting there...

  5. Chief:

    "that those damn ragheads fucked up all the democratically delicious free-market goodness we gifted them and now we have to go in and unfuck their pooch."

    Or, "Inside every Iraqi is a WASP American just dying to break out".

    What is it about peoples that they think they can impose a new culture on others and make them embrace it joyfully?

    One of our most impressive profs at Cambridge addressed this notion beautifully and succinctly, albeit in another subject area:

    "It is not simply an issue of the answers to the pertinent questions being different. In fact, many of the questions themselves are significantly different."

    So we are trapped in a mindless escapade of trying to force "answers" upon others to questions that do not exist or are fundamentally not the questions as we perceive them them.

  6. I would offer that Patrick Smith provided an excellent insight to Michael Knight's inability to understand what went wrong.