January 03, 2006
Odd the Silence: Iraq and the End of Reconstruction [added thought]
Wandering around online I found it strange, peculiar, startling the silence with respect to the End of Reconstruction in Iraq.
Given the confident crowing on the Right in the US of A about Iraq being rebuilt into a bright shiny new Germany, shining new example to the Arab and Islamic Worlds, example of Bush's great vision, etc. ad nauseum (we should not neglect the incoherent flailing and whinging on the part of the Left in the US of A, which is so fundamentally schizophrenically incompetent as to be almost amusing), I would have thought The Washington Post's small note on the apparent abandonment of reconstruction would have provoked some small commentary here and there.
Instead, there seems to be a general silence.
Perhaps I have missed something, but I do have to suspect there is a bit of mumble and shuffle on with respect to both sides.
[a semi amusing added thought]
I just had a brief conference call with some peeps working on a MENA fund with US Gov money.
I had emailed them The Washington Post arty and one of the fellows, in thanking me for bringing it to their attention (they are in Washington for negotiations on US Gov money), noted sarcastically, "My take away is they've pissed away the same amount of money we're talking about on some fucking corpses. Fucking corpses, as if anyone gives a fuck about DNA testing in Iraq.
That was, in fact, amusing.
True and amusing.
Posted by The Lounsbury at January 3, 2006 12:49 PM
Filed Under: Iraq War
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and in the end, no one really cares about Iraq or Iraqis.
Posted by: drdougfir at January 3, 2006 01:20 PM
The silence may be that the anti-s are not surprised and the pro-s prefer not to speak of it. Also it doesn't depart from rhetoric over here, there was no promise of full rebuilding made over here nor sought.
Posted by: matthew hogan at January 3, 2006 01:20 PM
Also Dr Doug is correct -- no one cares about Iraqis - the administration wanted to show its power and transformational virture; the anti people just pathologically hate George Bush (or Americans or Republicans), and everything else is sort of an incoherent gurgle from them. Iraq and Iraqis are just the board and chesspieces for grander delusions or obsessions of the both sides.
Posted by: matthew hogan at January 3, 2006 01:24 PM
as long as america gets the crude, nothing much else matters. next stop: iran!
Posted by: drdougfir at January 3, 2006 01:27 PM
Well, they started shuffling away from the Germany analogy a while back, but Condi cemented it in her speech to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last October. Clearly they're running out of money and there is no political will to spend more. I may have written something about this earlier...
Ah, here it is: http://www.aqoul.com/archives/2005/10/iraq_lowered_ex.php
Posted by: eerie at January 3, 2006 01:31 PM
Well, few on the left side of the aisle are going to push to put those dollars back in, so there's not going to be an outcry there. And on the right, I imagine there's deep embarrassment and what amounts to an abandonment of a purported commitment never to abandon the Iraqi people, yadda yadda yadda.
Posted by: praktike at January 3, 2006 02:54 PM
Happily I have been unafflicted by the delusion that any of this involved the least concern for actual Iraqis.
However, all the blithering on about national interest and the danger of a failed state has led me to expect that sheer national interest might just overcome short-termist political stupidity.
Of course, I do retain some capacity for delusional optimism now and again.
Regardless of our cynicism, however, walking away from supporting Iraqi reconstruction would be a stunning error. A truly disastrous error, although at the same time moving to lower profile less political "oh we're repainting schools" nonsense funneled through professionals and not through those idiots in the US DoD would be quite intelligent. Insofar as it was reported that US DoD has lost its main morte control over the same, that is a potentially positive sign.
Regardless, the sheer idiocy of the American engagement in Iraq never ceases to astound me. In another few decades this entire fiasco will be held up as the classic way not to do empire.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at January 3, 2006 02:58 PM
eerie and I caught a discussion about Lebanon recently. It was a bit silly, but people talked about how Lebanon could be used as a model of how to rebuild Iraq, politically.
After the laughter subsided, the professors seriously raised the point that it would be Iraq (if successful), and not Lebanon, which could perhaps serve as the benchmark for a successful post-war reconstruction in the aftermath of bad government and crippling military conflict, in the Middle-East or elsewhere.
Do the Bushniks really not realize what is at stake here?
Posted by: Ilan at January 3, 2006 04:39 PM
there was a rather ammusing comic today that is vaugely relevant to a completely different problem.
from http://www.comics.com/comics/pearls/ (pearls before swine)
i quite favour the idea of using carebears to make a lasting mid-east peace. maybe we can also find some to reconstruct iraq and stop the insurgency or whatever they're calling it now.
Posted by: drdougfir at January 3, 2006 08:40 PM
the incoherent flailing and whinging on the part of the Left in the US of A, which is so fundamentally schizophrenically incompetent as to be almost amusing
Speaking as a member of the American mid-left, I can only say that talking about "the Left" as any kind of unified poitical force is something like talking about a unified herd of cats. Not that it makes the whole situation any less pitiful or aggravating.
Posted by: Eva Luna at January 3, 2006 09:39 PM
"A truly disastrous error, although at the same time moving to lower profile less political "oh we're repainting schools" nonsense funneled through professionals and not through those idiots in the US DoD would be quite intelligent. Insofar as it was reported that US DoD has lost its main morte control over the same, that is a potentially positive sign."
One wonders whether the handover to State had a major role in esentially ending the reconstruction money, given State's pitiful pull in Congress and whatnot.
Posted by: praktike at January 3, 2006 10:38 PM
The idea of any large group as a "unified" force is nonsense, and the concept did not appear in my comment (other than perhaps indirectly by the mere fact of generalisation).
In short, excuse making over the American Left's ingrained incompetence is not needed.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at January 4, 2006 12:02 PM
No excuses made - Lord knows I sure have no desire to identify with some of the idiots who are responsible for "organizing" anti-Admin actions, if one could even call it that. It's an embarrassment, frankly.
Posted by: Eva Luna at January 4, 2006 12:36 PM
The silence is probably because reconstruction will have to continue anyways, just not funded by the US government. People are more worried about either pulling the troops out, or staying, which affects reconstruction far more.
Posted by: zurn at January 4, 2006 03:07 PM
My dear Zurn.
Money does not fucking grow on trees, mate.
"have to continue" is magical thinking.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at January 4, 2006 03:19 PM
No kidding? No wonder I get funny looks at the corner store.
Posted by: zurn at January 5, 2006 10:02 AM