“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


This was more than an election – this was the reversal of the Civil War. Jeff Davis, through one of those ironies of history, won through the party headed by his old enemy, Abraham Lincoln.

So what does it mean that the strongest power in the world, at the moment, is the Confederate States of America?

As LI has said before, states are modes for state interests. From the point of view of morality, a state’s interests can intersect with the interests of justice, but will never wholly intersect with it or subsume it. On the other hand, pathological states can intersect dramatically with injustice. We look like we are on the brink of one of those moments.

At the moment, the CSA intersects with some very bad things. Symbolic of this, we think, is the elevation of a man who is visibly sexually disturbed to the Senate seat from Oklahoma. Oklahoma, proud of its tradition of pograms -- the biggest massacre of blacks in the South occured in the Tulsa riots in the twenties - handed the man his victory on his promise to crush, as he could, homosexuals.

But more than symbolic problems confront the people of the Middle East. They are confronted, at the moment, by two vile powers. One, the U.S., will inflict much more loss of life at the moment than the networks around Osama bin Laden. We expect that the U.S. will proceed with the mass murder in Iraq full speed ahead. As for the elections in Iraq – the only necessity for those elections resided in the elections in the CSA. That has now dissipated. The CSA can now confabulate some gang of thugs – Allawi’s Ba’athists, plus theocrats it can sheer off of some of the other parties – and confront Iraq with the fait accompli of a ‘coalition government', for which they will be invited to vote. It will be rather like the last vote in Iraq, under Saddam Hussein. The principles are about the same: armed power, greed, and oppression. Yawer, who has been threatening to resign if the U.S. attacks Fallujah again – a fact that has been totally ignored in the CSA press –can now resign to his heart’s content. Who needs him?

The choices get harder. Luckily for the Iraqis, the CSA is still run on maximum incompetence, and the war will still be fought with the utmost frivolity. The end that LI had once hoped for – a society evolving towards democracy, autonomous with regard to America but somewhat friendly – can probably be ruled out for the nonce.

Complicating this will be the airstrikes that will soon be run against Iran. The question is: how will the revulsion of the Iraqi population express itself in successful guerilla strategy? Surely the jihadists will be pouring in in the next couple of months, and bad, in warfare extinguishes good -- a sort of malign natural selection. And so far there has been little good about the insurgency – the political programs range from merely the assertion of totalitarian power to the assertion of a bizarre Islamism. One can only hope that some small core of sanity – with the goal of a liberated, secular Iraq – can maintain its integrity in the coming revolution against the CSA invaders. That is, however, a thin hope.

As for the Confederates – the Pentagon Pumphouse gang will have to soon start seriously considering supporting a breakaway Kurdish state. While the fun and games of terrorbombing Fallujah, and gunning down civilians in the streets of Ramadi, does have its attractions, the cost in American personnel, while a minor consideration at the moment, might, above the two thousand point, not be tamped down by the much larger fear that a man and a man might take the vows of holy matrimony in a theater near you. To salvage something out of the ruins will be important, particularly as the most important part of bin Laden’s message was not his video witticisms a la Michael Moore, but was about considering something which so far, the Al Q. has not done – attacking the U.S. economically. Meaning pissing off his extended family and attacking the oil refineries and pipelines, I would imagine. Fortunately for the U.S., its terrorist enemies are symbolically headed by a man who has every stake in preserving the economic status quo in the Middle East. But once to every man and terrorist comes a moment to decide, as Martin Luther once (sorta) said.

Even LI sees one 'ray of hope' in the election -- Tom Daschle, a leader of utmost smallness, a stunted mediocrity whose instincts have lead the Democrats from defeat to defeat, was defeated himself.

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