The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

The lost year in Iraq – a failure of ideology

In Lost Year in Iraq on SBS’ Cutting Edge tonight Republican neo-con insider Paul Bremmer tells his story:

L. Paul Bremer III set off to Baghdad to build a new nation and establish democracy in the Arab Middle East.

One year later, with Bremer forced to secretly exit what some have called “the most dangerous place on earth,” the group left behind lawlessness, insurgency, economic collapse, death, destruction – and much of their idealism.

A text-book catalogue of how to invade a country and overthrow its dictatorial regime while having absolutely no idea of what to do next, and thereby create what has colorfully been called the ‘Iraq clusterfuck’.

Apart from the sheer negligent incompetence of the whole operation what struck me most was that this happened as a result of a group-think mindset suffering from a total reality disconnect.

So convinced were the executors of this grand Iraqi experiment to bring democracy and stability to the Middle East and neutralise the rise of the nation of Islam, they believed they could make it happen because they ‘knew’ they were right. They convinced themselves that they had grasped the Truth better than anyone else. They even had Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News spin the whole thing for them like some kind of sporting spectacular where we all get to wave flags and go “Hooray for our side!”

It’s proving to be a total failure by any kind of political, economic, or moral measure other than sheer hubris.

In the blogosphere there are also group-think mindsets, and some of them are truly radical. Their adherents believe they have the truth, they know they are right, and spend much effort in explaining why everyone else is wrong – and when (or more likely we wish) their ideas are implemented then the world will be a better place. (May there be mercy on those heretics who would disagree!)

Let the great neo-con experimental clusterfuck that is Iraq be a salutory warning to those with messianic tendencies.

And yet, even in the midst of failure, there are those who still believe that the only reason Iraq has failed, apart from the feckless and ungrateful Iraqi people being too useless to make a go of it, was that we didn’t go in hard enough or brutally enough to make it work. You just gotta show ’em who’s boss.

Speaking of whom, Murdoch playing to an all A-List home crowd today opined that Australian people must not let these legitimate doubts about the policies of a failed administration turn into an irrational American antipathy. A bit rich coming from him, and a bit late now. Howard warned those who would indulge in Armchair Anti-Americanism (he must know about bloggers) to be careful what they wished for (or the terrorists will get you and eat your children?) He proudly declared the invasion of Iraq as the most poll defiant thing he had done.

Rupert also put a new spin on how our oil addiction props up Islamic regimes as well as causing global warming and climate change. Out they go! Two for the price of one!

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Filed under: Big Picture, Politics

4 Responses

  1. You used the term “neo-con” and immediately lost all credibility.

  2. slim says:

    Call it what you will – Bush administration, the Republicans – it failed and put a serious dent in that particular notion that the US was now in a position to create new political realities for the better in the Middle East. Unless creating chaos and mayhem was what was intended all along – but that would really be cynical.

  3. graemebird says:

    It was a failure of deterrence. And the triumph of leftist political warfare.

    And the strategy wasn’t the one that your typical neocon would have gone for. At that point somehow the State Department and CIA managed to swing their influence over the President.

    I keep saying they could have pulled it off. But it seems now that the Washington bureaucracy can’t get anything right.

  4. slim says:

    Don’t know about the triumph of leftist political warfare. I think it was just plain old arrogant stupidity. Listening to Bremmer it is obvious that the Bush Administration didn’t have a clue about what was going to happen and how they could deal with it. They seemed to think it was going to be a walk in the park with liberated Iraqis showering them with rose petals. They were victims of their own spin.

    They may well have been able to pull it off – if they’d sent in an extra 50-100,000 troops, had a reconstruction plan, kept on the police, army and civil service, rebuilt essential infrastructure and got the hell out again as soon as practicable.

    I fear it’s all too late now.

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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