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RE: Does Iraq need more debate?


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RE: Does Iraq need more debate?
Topic: Media 1:41 am EST, Dec 20, 2006

noteworthy wrote:
Decius wrote:

You're kidding, right? I don't mean to suggest a causal relationship.

Really? In a recent thread, Scott asked:

Where is that great leader with vision and fortitude and resolve? Cuz I can't imagine things much more fucked up than they are now.

And you replied:

Be careful what you wish for. You'll have him, but things aren't near fucked up enough yet.

That sounds at least a little bit like suggestion of a causal relationship.

I'm not saying that you get interesting times by wanting great leaders. I'm saying that great leaders aren't something you should generally pine for because they usually come under the worst circumstances, and in fact it is the circumstances that define their greatness. This is an observation on America. Wishing for great American leadership is the same as wishing for great American catastrophies. The Space Program is the only real exception I can think of but in reality that was the height of the cold war. America meets a critical prereq for this observation in that it actually is a nation with an actual national idenity that doesn't excude any of its citizens.

Iraq is a different story. Its already fucked, and yet that leader hasn't arrived, because Iraq is a map fantasy and not a nation, and there is no natural leader for it. No one cares about Iraq. Iraq is three nations. Each of those has their great leaders already, but their leadership is never really appreciated but in retrospect, and there is no end game here. There is no stable state without a brutal dictator binding the unbindable by fear. If you wanted Democracy there you'd have to bring in a sort of benevolent dictator who was still ruthless, but taught people to see themselves as servants of a nation rather than as servants of him and his sons. Pinochet. Then you could slowly boil in democractic reforms until things reached a state where you could walk away and it would be fine. You can't just fucking whack the dictator and set up a polling both and expect everyone to buy into it. Nation building is hard and it requires long term thinking.

Perhaps we should be pulling out. Perhaps we can't install a dictator on our own watch, and we can't be the dictator either, because we're not local, as Britain proved over and over and over again. We have to be able to pretend it wasn't our fault that it happenned, while brokering the arms deals on the back end that put our particular bastard into power.

Of course, thats who Saddam was supposed to be. He fucked it up. Thats why they wanted him out. Because he was their boy, but he didn't boil in the democratic reforms as promised. He got greedy.

Maybe the real reason we're down there is to send a message to our own dictators that they have a long term job to do and they better not fuck us.

RE: Does Iraq need more debate?

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