Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What we can't avoid talking about

I was meeting with a colleague today, on business, concerning subject matter such as we normally talk about here. As we finished up talking about the stuff we get paid to talk about, he stopped me before I could head for the door. What about Iraq?

Yup, it tends to push everything else down the priority list. We just had an election in which the ruling party lost, and everybody agrees that the most important reason was public revulsion over the war in Iraq, the revelation that it was based on a campaign of lies, and its manifest failure. Candidates who ran against the war won all over the country, often in surprising upsets. Public opinion polls consistently show that a substantial majority of Americans want to bring the troops home from Iraq and end this.

So what's going to happen? After spending much of December pretending to "listen" to small groups of hand-picked "experts," selected exclusively on the basis that they will tell him what he wants to hear, the Emperor of Mesopotamia is going to give a nationally televised speech in January in which he announces that he is sending more troops to Iraq in order that We Shall Prevail. While I suspect that he personally has not the slightest idea of what it might mean to Prevail in Iraq, the people who tell him what to think do have an idea. It means keeping the enormous military bases the U.S. has built there, from which they hope to establish military domination over the petroleum resources of the region.

The rest of it is utter nonsense. A "democratic, stable" Iraq is an impossibility any time soon, because Iraq does not have a democratic political culture. An Iraq capable of defending itself is the last thing the United States wishes to establish, because that would mean a militarily powerful but potentially unstable Shiite theocracy closely allied with Iran. In order to ameliorate that unpleasant side effect, they probably intend to bomb Iran, on the theory that it will result in pro-U.S. neoconservatives taking power in that country. And who are we fighting in Iraq? Mostly just Iraqis who don't want the United States running their country. The easiest way to get them to stop blowing up American soldiers and marines is to stop trying to run their country. Then they won't have any reason to blow our people up any more. But that would constitute defeat, so it can't happen.

Meanwhile they are about to ask Congress for another $100 billion down payment on the $2 trillion cost of this grotesque folly. And oh yeah, they're going to build a base on the moon. And the world is 6,000 years old.

The constitution of the United States has failed. If we had a parliamentary system, we would today have a new government. There are many other problems with the constitution, but I'll leave it at that for now.

1 comment:

Invertir en petroleo said...

hi, i think that this post is ok, i am very happy because i read a good pots