"This is just one of the more extreme example of the mental silliness that, in extremis, seems to have grabbed the entire American foreign policy elite by the brain stem. It's an exercise in sputtering incoherence, in which people who've spent most of their professional lives rehearsing their talking points in the green room suddenly discover they have absolutely nothing meaningful to say. But the media echo chamber abhors a vacuum every bit as much as nature does, and so we're getting a lot of verbiage that basically adds up to nothing.read the rest.
This nothing is then labeled "the Iraq policy debate."
"Democracy" in Iraq may not be worth much (you could, of course, say the same about "democracy" in America) but it is an objective reality -- parliament, constitution, political parties (with and without artillery) a cabinet, the works. Pulling the plug on it now, Pinochet style, would not only turn all the Shi'a factions against us, it would expose America before the entire world as a nation of lying, hypocritical shits, who don't really give a flying fuck about "democracy" unless we control it. In the war of ideas Shrub likes to talk about, that would pretty much qualify as an unconditional surrender.
In any case, as a practical matter a U.S. backed military dictatorship would be the ultimate albatross on Uncle Sam's shoulders. As supine as the United Nations is, I still have a hard time imagining it would ever recognize such a regime as the legitimate government of Iraq. (Hypocritical in turn, given the cutthroat regimes that are currently so recognized? You bet. But that's life.) Without U.N. recognition, multilateral financing becomes impossible, oil deals get riskier, debt forgiveness gets harder -- Iraq would be even more of an orphan state, totally dependent on American foster care.
Really, anyone who's thinking of a military coup as the solution to our problems in Baghdad has a brain the size of a pin. Which is why I worry that there may be some truth behind the rumor.
Small wonder then, that the policy "debate" has now crossed the line into complete fantasy -- like a long piece of dialogue from Waiting for Godot. The realists have turned into surrealists. Baker now sounds almost as naive and deluded as Bush.
As a veteran anti-establishmentarian -- no, let's be honest here, I despise the motherfuckers -- I should be enjoying the hell out of all this. And if it weren't for the hundreds of thousands who have died, and the many more who will die as this fiasco goes even further south, I'm sure I would be."