Saturday, February 10, 2007

It's all so tragically familiar

First, we were attacked by terrorists and the administration decided to bomb Afghanistan and oust the Taliban as its government, and hopefully find Ossama Bin Laden in the process. While not everyone thought this was a good idea, it was hard to argue with the ouster of the Taliban, which had basically turned half the population (the female half) into slaves imprisoned in their own homes. And Bin Laden had pretty much declared war on the US. Other countries joined in, so it seemed like a collective effort could be mounted to bring peace and stability to this terribly traumatized country.

But then it proved HARD, darnit. We didn't catch Bin Laden. But instead of buckling down and investing the resources necessary for the job, we decided to shift the blame elsewhere - it's Iraq's fault! Yeah, that's it. The terrorists are still winning because Iraq is helping them. So instead of focusing on the people who had declared their intention to harm us, and on helping the people of Afghanistan, we're going to distract everyone and move onto something new. Because starting things is always easier and more exhilarating than finishing them. Anyone who has ever taken on a home improvement project knows that. Demolishing the wall is fun! Putting up new sheetrock and mitering trim is tedious and slow.

So we trashed Iraq. But dammit, again, it turned out to be HARD. Who coulda guessed? Faced again with something hard, instead of buckling down to our responsibilities, let's deflect attention and blame again. It worked so well the last time we tried that! It's all Iran's fault. Iran is the cause of Iraq's instability, not the grossly incompetently planned and prosecuted US military action and occupation. So once again, let's just bounce on to the next thing, and leave the last one in tatters.

This is not good. This isn't a home improvement project we're talking about. It's the world. How many more countries are we going to go through before somebody finds a way to stop the madness? It's like some kind of sick ponzi scheme, borrowing blame from one country to pay off the blame-debt left on the last one.

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