Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A Parable

The previous post, if it was a difficult read, please imagine what an ordeal it must have been to write. Here is a much simpler rendition of the main points:
There are these two detectives, and they bring in this dim-witted suspect for a lie-detector test. They put a colander on his head and sit him next to a photocopy machine on which they have pre-placed a paper face-down on the glass. Each time he answers a question, one of them hits the "print" button and out comes this piece or paper: "He's Lying". Faced with this proof, the suspect confesses.
I haven't heard how the story ends.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to respond to (and echo) your previous post more generally. I think that American nationalism is responsible for many of the problems that the U.S. is facing. Setting aside the sham talk of "promoting democracy and freedom abroad," what really guides U.S. foreign policy, both in actuality and in the way it's treated domestically in the media, is geopolitical interests, specifically the interest of maintaining U.S. hegemony in all regions (which includes securing access to important energy sources and transit routes around the world).

Of course there's nothing new about this idea. It's just remarkable to me how we see a schism between the talk of fighting a "global war on terror" and "promoting democracy" on the one hand, and the actual, concrete occupation of two countries which were no real threat to the U.S. Also, I think it's the aspiration for continued geopolitical hegemony, masked by talk of promoting democracy, which allows Americans to swallow the pill of their country torturing detainees, breaking international law through secret renditions and sham military trials which are illegitimate due to the torture of suspects, the occupation of countries, etc.

And then, when we see Iraqis such as Muqtada al-Sadr and others who are against the occupation as well as accept the idea of the "Iraqi" as simply someone from that country (not just from a particular sect), they're labeled as wily deviants trying to rack up political points by being anti-American.

2:47 PM  
Blogger badger said...

You're right. It's the old story, but it seems there are always new ways of shilling for it...

5:49 PM  
Blogger Cugel said...

You tell me who would ultimately be happy with a partition of the country, except the Kurds.

From what little I've seen the Shiites are just as set on maintaining Iraqi sovereignty over all of Iraq as the Sunnis.

Who's going to be satisfied with any partition plan? Shiites who give up governing as the majority block over the entire country?

Sunnis who accept a rump state in Western Iraq, without much oil resources?

How can that all be peaceful? And how can Iraq's neighbors accept it? Certainly the same formula could be applied to Saudi Arabia where Shiites just happen to be sitting on major oil reserves. Partition is an idea they cannot just swallow without giving terrible ideas to every minority throughout the region.

Turkey is only the most obvious example.

All this throws a major road-block into any American attempt at partition. We ran into the same problem in Vietnam.

Essentially, despite every American effort, and despite the feelings of millions of South Vietnamese who wanted independence from the North, ultimately there was only ONE Vietnam in the minds of the people.

Iraq's a different country, but that dream of Iraqi sovereignty is not going away.

9:39 AM  

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