Sunday, July 30, 2006
The God of Chaos And The Middle East
I don't write much about the wars and occupations. My excuse is that I'm not an expert in the fields of killing and international politics, but that's not a good excuse. Being a nonexpert has never stopped me from writing about any topic I believe would be improved by my simplistic pontifications. The real reasons are twofold:
First, just like Condi Rice, I'm deeply saddened by all that collateral damage (babies without heads, old women turned into something one usually sees in butcher shops), and I really am saddened by it. The overwhelming amount of all the horror then does something to my brain connections and I snap. Not good for continued blogging.
Second, even reading about the latest blunder of our dear little neocons makes me see red. Red as in angry. Real red, so burning that I'm almost setting the neighborhood on fire. The anger comes from the unbelievable arrogance of those in power, arrogance of such enormity that it was deemed unnecessary to learn anything about the area one was going to set free for democracy, when every school child could have easily googled enough material to find out that more democracy was not what we would get from our adventures in the various Muslim nations. Most of those countries have no large, established secular civil society, many of them are structured on tribal bases, and none of them can be quickly and realistically unified by anything other than either a terrible dictator or an overwhelming religious ideology. And guess which one the neocons offered to the countries they wanted to make safe from terrorism of the Islamic fundamentalist type? The idiotic paradoxity of this makes me cry blood. We are fighting terrorism by making more of this world into fundamentalist Taliban-like societies which will certainly not reduce the pressures towards extremism. Not to mention the "collateral damage" on the lives of millions of women in those new Talibanias.
And this is what I marched against before the Iraq war. The first time I marched against anything, by the way, as I'm a lazy and lethargic sort of goddess and need to face the oblivion of this imperfectly wonderful world before I get off my butt. I marched, because of the pointless deaths I could see in the future, because of all that pointless suffering, but even more I marched because the whole scheme was harebrained and doomed to failure. Democracy can't be imported from outside at the tip of a sword or a bomb. Even nations with internal divisions and fights will unite against such an external savior, and in their uniting they will choose whatever brings them together, even if it is ultimate self-destruction. If Iran is attacked it will not fall apart, as the neocons have decided. It will unite and fight the attacker. That's how it is.
Democracy takes time to grow. It takes the development of democratic institutions, laws and constitutions which have been decided on against long debates. It takes the development of an educated class of voters. It takes time.
The neocons want instant democracy, or something that might look like democracy, and they are offering it as one of two choices, the other being death. There are ways in which this reminds me of the choices the bin Ladens would like to give to the world, although even cookie-cutter pretend-democracy is better than bin Ladens alternatives. But there are more than these two choices. Or three, counting death.
It's an odd experiment to try to deduce the intentions of the neocons now in power in the United States from their acts. Reminds me of the "revealed preference" theory of economics, where one tries to deduce the desires of people from the knowledge we have about what they have actually done under various constraints. I call the neocon experiment odd, because my attempts to deduce their preferences makes me more and more certain that they are stark nutters.
They appear to want to spread the Israel-Hezbullah war to Syria, with the idea that chaos is somehow a good thing now for the Republican party. Or perhaps with the idea that one failed occupation in Iraq will be buried under new wars. Or perhaps they know that they only have a few months to bring about the next world war and they're desperately working against that deadline.
For why else worship the god of chaos? Destroying the oil fields is not going to make oil more available. Turning the various terrorist organizations into the only thing that seems to stand between people and chaos is not going to help in the so-called war against terrorism.
Or are they trying to cause one big wave of war to create a foundation for permanent peace? I seem to remember that this argument was used to defend the First World War. So much for that idea.
The most likely explanation for the neocon idiocies is that they are working the elections, trying to make such a mess of tangled webs that voters can't see how to cut them loose and end up selecting the same spiders again, or that somehow brewing enough war elsewhere might keep us temporarily safe, and that this would be enough for all those cowering under their beds right now. Whatever the explanation might be, from my point of view it's despicable.
Now you see why I don't write about this topic that often.
Check out Glenn Greenwald's post on this topic.