I finally made time to sample the analytic astuteness of one hot amateur star, Wretchard of the Belmont Club. Great prose! And impressive he is, I must admit, in a prosaic sort of way. He is not a star for nothing, you know, in that elite club of the Angry Altruistic Pontificators of the North American Blogosphere!
Wretchard’s is a universe that would leave any sane being furious really. To think, all the invested blood, treasure, and effort simply to keep the oil lanes open for others, paying a security premium of up to eight dollars to boot, with no reciprocity from the billions of ingrates who have no probity to recognize what angels they continue to annoy.
Imagine a universe in which some of the most irksome impediments to the emerging new order that promises heaven on earth are those nastiest and most alien of all human impulses: people’s impetus to “defend their homes,” and avoid becoming “collateral damage.” Wouldn’t it be nice if the journalists of the Washington Post and others could simply just ignore these mundane matters?
Wouldn’t it be an utter relief if the U.S. could only “act like a traditional conquering power, flattening all before it,” in order to crush nasty enemies all around? Oh, those pestering constrains created by human decency and global revulsion!
And that bewildering universe of enemies meshing in together; the universe in which “the most senior of Saddam's holdouts, Izzat Ibrahim, has pledged allegiance to Abu Musab al Zarqawia,” which “if true” would naturally also mean that the Iranians have “swept up the masterless ronin of the former dictator and enlisted them under new management: in short, Iran may now own the Ba'athist remnants.” Just like that, you see. With stroke of a pen-- an “if true.”
You would be mad too, wouldn’t you; if you were to perceive your universe in such a way? Of course, certain questions would be then simply irrelevant or at best reflections of visceral anti-Americanism.
Who helped the Ba’athists gas our relatives and friends in Iran? Where did the loans and chemicals come from? Who were the real friends of the Ba’athists for years? Who are the ones re-organizing some of them today to spy on their enemies? Which Rumsfeld is seen shaking hand with Saddam? Which Reagan refused to stop the flow of aid to the butcher of Baghdad? Even after he gassed the Iranians and the Kurds?
Whose alliance with Usama was trumpeted for years as a most brilliant strategy intended to unleash the forces of freedom globally? Who pressured the Saudis, in the first place, to sink in billions in the traditional Islamic Madrasas in order to create generations of Jihadists—the very same people who are now making life a living hell here? Whose best friends are the petty tyrants all over the Middle East? Who helped organize and arm the Islamists globally? Is there an essential continuity of policies even today?
Is there a trace of any of these questions when examining the past? Is there ever an accounting with some? Or are the Wretchards of this world perpetually right and their altruism always misunderstood and unappreciated?
What can we do really with those who continue to inhabit a denial bubble and expect us to swallow their inanities uncritically and/or face being flattened?
Only in American movies, dear readers, can you really expect people simply to “just die,” and to vanish quietly, passively, and en masse. Luckily, people are increasingly losing taste for what America produces nowadays in Hollywood.
There is much room for mutual learning, inter-cultural exchanges and the commerce necessary for building a better future in this region; of the sort that, if ethical, fair and respectful, could promise to be both fruitful and lucrative for most.
The old allies —the Jihadists and Cru-sadists, though, along with their star sycophants-- are going to have to first take a hike before we can begin to focus on our myriad burdensome problems here.