Thursday, August 25, 2005

Buying the farm instead of selling it

First, the quote:

"Consider this. If YOU were an enemy of the United States, and you looked across the last 60 years, what would you call our most devastating mistake? The thing that wrecked our confidence and unity and military readiness and economy... ...An idiotic, incompetently waged foreign war in a futile setting and low priority locale, guaranteed to raise insurgent resistance, demolish our alliances and leadership position, and to set our culture aflame, while wasting the surplus that might be spent on research and other investment. If you were our ENEMY, you'd look for our achilles heel and come up with a plan... to get us to do what we are doing right now." David Brin from:

Okay, this is a bit of a paranoid way of looking at things, a wee bit too tinfoil hat for my taste.
Despite the situation in Iraq proving to be a perfect recruitment tool for his jihad, I doubt bin Laden was thinking about dragging the U.S. into a VietNam-style war. He just wanted to bitch-slap America. Just as few people could image anyone flying fully-loaded passenger jets into buildings, fewer still could image the leader of one of the most influential countries in the world pissing away the regard of the global community in an inept attempt to steal another country's oil wealth.
This is one of the things that most boggles my mind about the whole BushCorp/Iraq fiasco. They threw away decades of wisdom about American Hegemony in order to play at Soldiers. When the Soviet Union fell, while everyone may have acknowledged that the American military might held the USSR in check, most thinking people would also say that what really felled communism was Economic power. Even as we speak, economic power continues to erode the last great bastion of Marxism, China. Why? Because whatever they may say, they crave a Western lifestyle, with all it's attendant goodies. Billions of dollars flow into Asia from America every year, but culturally they're still wallowing in our power.
BushCorp seems to think that if we just go in and blow up enough stuff, all the while making pretty talk about Democracy, that the Middle East will fall down at our feet. With a bit of patience, and a lot of marketting, we could have had them begging to be thoroughly Westernized within a generation, and paying us for the priviledge. Now they hate us more than ever, and that generation will be doing it's level best to kill us instead.

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