Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ideas that kill people 

Odd, isn't it -- when we look at history, the "idea" is frequently blamed for bloodshed and mayhem -- I'm thinking about the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries, when catholics fought protestants, and various kinds of protestants fought each other, and it was pretty clear that the basic cause of the conflict was their differing ideas of God. And likewise in the 20th century, when fascism fought democracy, and when communism fought capitalism. Nobody had any problems with the concept that some ideas are proven to be right by history, while others are proven to be wrong.
So what is so different now about the loss of the war in Iraq? It was a bad idea in the first place and lots of people said it was a bad idea -- illegal, for one thing, because the US didn't even dare ask the Security Council to vote on the war for fear that not only would the war be vetoed, they wouldn't even get a majority in favour -- and immoral, a war which caused more people around the world to march against it than any other war in world history.
And even now, the pro-war neocons refuse to accept that their idea was wrong. Digby sums up the neocon narrative:
. . . neocon shills like Kristol will soothe the rubes with tales of how the Bush administration tied the military's hands. If they'd have let them go they could have gotten the job done in a couple of weeks. We could have bombed em back into the stone age if necessary. After all, everything turned out just great with Japan and Germany. But, no. They wouldn't let our brave men and women get the job done. (Of course you can't blame them too much. It was the dominant Democrat hippies who made them do it.)
It gives the Republicans a good excuse to run on 'restoring honor' to the country. The rubes eat it up and get all excited about proving ourselves in the next war. A war we must fight for freedom and democracy, of course. Because we're so good . . .
Darn it, yes, the United States is good. But this war was bad, and now its broken and no one knows how to fix it.

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