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Glenn Greenwald has a nice piece up on this, thought I'd add my two cents.  You see boys and girls, the reason that the pundit class and official Washington can't allow themselves to let go of the idea that Iraq could have worked if it had only been done right is that the real lesson of this clusterfuck shakes their entire world view down to its very foundation.

The fact of the matter is that the failure of the War in Iraq, otherwise known as "The Demonstration Project of American World Dominance", is just another symptom of the same long term historical trend that led to the fall of the Soviet Union, the fall of Marcos and the velvet revolution.

Simply put, these vast super power war machines are effectively impotent in the face of a determined recalcitrant indigenous population. Small groups with semi-automatic weapons, truck bombs etc mingling within a sheltering population can bring any occupying army to its knees. No matter how great their technological advantage. So, it turns out, that the only thing that a super power's military is good for is destroying other super power's militaries.

This is a complete mindfuck to the PNAC crowd who were convinced that the fall of the Soviet Union meant that we were now free to use our military to exert our will unfettered on the entire planet.

Iraq is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this dream was a dangerous hallucination.

But it is a hallucination that official Washington, and the pundit class is still unwilling to let go of. Let alone the multi-trillion dollar military-indusrial complex. They want to believe that it is all the bumbler George Bush's fault. If only some smarter warlord were in charge we could have really shown them sand niggers a thing or two! Bullshit. The whole concept is a pipedream. A delusion. You might have the power to blow the whole world up, but you don't have the power to intimidate it, to bend it to your will. Na Ganna Happen.

Originally posted to SW on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 07:05 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think Friedman is quite young enough to enlist. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UneasyOne

    We don't have time for short-term thinking.

    by Compound F on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 07:21:55 PM PST

  •  don't you see (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    epcraig, UneasyOne

    if we don't continue in Iraq, there will be nuclear war by next week.  'cut and run' won't work, we are 'going after them there so they won't come here', 'sectarian violence' is improving. 'freedom is on the march'.

    If people haven't seen Colbert's smackdown of GWB at the White House Stenographer conv., you must...he lays down the truth, it is just a matter of admitting you stepped in it or claiming it smells like roses.  one line ...

    'Whatever the problem, America is assured of having it handled by the best photo ops in history.'  

    that about sums it.  phot op, political posturing. Every damn decision is based on it.  get em out.

  •  We have been so weakened by this stupid war (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, willb48

    that we don't scare much of anybody.  I think more and more people are catching on to the fact that Friedman is a very intelligent idiot.  Someday, however, it might be legitamately necessary to overthrow a dictator as dangerous as Saddam was claimed to be - as in WWII Japan and Germany.  There are major lessons to be learned here as there were from Vietnam.  We obviously haven't learned them yet. I would seriously like to see a study by political, academic and military leaders as to what those lessons are and how they should apply in the future.  Some situations cry out for intervention: Darfur, for example, and the ongoing multiple genocides of the Sudanese government.  Ruanda (in the 90s) and the genocide there is another example.  Even Iraq (before the invasion) was a situation that needed attention.  Was the credible threat of force necessary?  Combined with the sanctions, it seemed to be working.  How can we recognize a quagmire before we step into it?  Would a quick invasion and toppling of Saddam with half a million or more troops followed by a planned and speedy retreat have achieved anything worthwhile?  There are a lot of really important questions that will come up time and again.  We should try to find the answers now so we can possibly avoid disasters like this in the future.  

    •  Weak is good. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grrr

      Having a sole super power is not a good thing for the world, especially if it's arrogant.  If there ever is another "Hitler", we'll have to build a legitimate coalition (without threats & bribes), and with factual rather than faith-based evidence.

      •  Weak is NOT good (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        faithnomore

        Neither is arrogant and stupid.  We will be inflicted with this incredibly stupid administration for another two years.  After that we still need to survive.  Our weakness is what has emboldened Iran - and if you think Iranian dominance of Iraq is a good idea, Iranian nukes are ok, Lebanon is benifitting from Iranian influence then yes, weak is good.  Any adult knows that strength can equal safety - except for a bully.  "Speak softly and carry a big stick" can be an effective diplomatic posture.  Doesn't work if you're an idiot though.  Don't forget that a lot of people hated us before Bush.  The Iatollahs started calling us "The great satan" under Carter (who was doing his level best to make peace everywhere there was conflict).  I do agree that the war powers act should be strengthened to limit the ability of a nutcase like Bush from starting a war unilaterally and fighting on when victory is impossible and he has lost all popular support.

        •  I think you need to learn more about US history, (0+ / 0-)

          especially in the mideast & the Americas.  We've behaved very irresponsibly for over 100 years because of our strength & our greed.  And I FULLY support Iran not only having its own nuclear fuel source (as they are allowed under the NPT), but nuclear weapons - in order to hold at bay the world's biggest bully which overthrew Iran's fledgling democracy only 53 years ago, and installed a brutal dictatorship.  That's why we're called "The Great Satan" - not because of what happened in 1979.

          Regarding the now inevitable shift in power to Iran, don't blame Iran - Bush's lack of knowledge and foresight, and his sheer arrogance are responsible for that.

          In general, there are very good reasons why our foreign policy (not just Bush's) is widely held in disrepute.  Have you ever traveled outside the US and discussed US policies?

          •  Aha I see (0+ / 0-)

            Weak America good.  Nuclear Iran good.  I'll bet I know American history at least as well as you.  I notice you're not nearly as concerned with Iranian support for terrorism as with past American misconduct and that you think that possession of nuclear weapons by a nation that advocates the eradication of one of our allies is a good thing. That puts you completely beyond the pale as far as I am concerned.  Say what you like in response, we have no basis for further conversation.

  •  I think this is an important point. (0+ / 0-)

    Which is why I believe the disaster that is Iraq is a good thing, in the long run. It would be far worse if the right-wing could do this sort of thing and get away with it without severe blowback; Syria & Iran would have been next otherwise.  You can also see symptoms of this in the recent elections in Central/South America, albeit 20 years after Reagan.

  •  I seem to remember (0+ / 0-)

    Seeing Lawrence of Arabia when I was young.

    Also read "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom."

    A small force can overcome an empire.

  •  What about Chechnya and Tibet? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, faithnomore

    "Simply put, these vast super power war machines are effectively impotent in the face of a determined recalcitrant indigenous population."

    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." Carl Schurz

    by another American on Sat Dec 02, 2006 at 04:05:40 AM PST

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