“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

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

why I love the Washington Post

Moments in the dreamlife of the governing class

This exchange in the Washington Post deserves an award of some kind – it so exactly represents the way in which, in D.C. circles, conventional wisdom deals with those truths that upset it:

“Waterville, Maine: Good Morning Dan,

President Bush's proposal to increase troops in Iraq by 20-30,000 has received a lot of attention this weekend and has sparked considerable debate and controversy. On the one hand, incoming Majority Leader Reid stated he would support a short-term increase. On the other hand, I thought it was very interesting that former Secretary Powell and Hillary Clinton spoke out against the idea. Powell even suggested that the army was "nearly broken" and could not sustain another build-up. How is the White House responding to all this? Are we seeing evidence of a growing rift between Democratic leaders? How many other Republicans will speak out now that Powell has come out publicly?

Dan Balz: These are all good questions and the focus of a considerable amount of reporting these days here and elsewhere. You've got two conflicting forces at work. The November elections clearly sent a message that the American people want a change in Iraq and that what they most want is a plan that begins to draw down U.S. forces. Because there are worries that an abrupt pullout would leave Iraq and the Middle East in even more chaos, there is a desire to find a way to reduce the warfare in Baghdad. Can the addition of more U.S. troops, for a short period of time, accomplish that? People who are far more expert than I in military matters are debating that right now.”

So, an election in which people seemed to vote for withdrawing from Iraq really requires “the addition of more U.S. troops, for a short period of time.” Just as an election in which people didn’t voted against withdrawing from Iraq would seem to require “the addition of more U.S. troops, for a short period of time.” A surge, if you will. The tiptoeing language of "for a short period" is so beautiful - I mean, you get a serious turd from the White House and you have to dress it up like a Christmas turkey, so you say things like that. And of course Balz is inexpert in military affairs. Goodness gracious, we have to leave those military affairs to the generals, who have been doing such a truly outstanding job so far.

It is a joke. I laughed at this exchange so heartily I could almost taste fresh Iraqi blood in my mouth. While I have emphasized, and will continue to emphasize, that the only interest served by the occupation of Iraq is that of Bush’s vanity, one must always remember the context: vanity is the stock in trade of these people. They are attracted to vanity, parasites of it, investors in it. Little pieces of the imperial vanity are broken off and carried by the little drones like pieces of the cross. Really, it is hard to imagine a viler elite. They get in their little Hummers after a good days work, they get home and play with their meritocratic 2.1 kids, and they have not a single thought in their heads that wasn’t put there by some boss figure from the time they are 18 to the time they die. Complete servility, complete nullity. Withdrawal from Iraq – which will happen only when the army is so squeezed that the U.S. will have to withdraw in self defense – is only the first condition for a more peaceful, just world. A deeper condition is disempowering these terrible buffoons.


Brian said...

Phwoar, roger. That last paragraph has to rank up there as among your finest. As a good diligent bureaucrat, I can certainly understand this class-I am a member thereof, to a small extent. (Although, land use bureaucrats don't kill quite as many people as Pentagon functionaries)

Amerigo Sciurofascista said...

"(Although, land use bureaucrats don't kill quite as many people as Pentagon functionaries)"


roger said...

Brian, thanks! although re-reading the graf, hmm, I was a little harsh there. However, I've been on a roll since I saw those German paintings at the Met. I've set the bar for savaging the comfortable higher. But, of course, my ideal is the perfect merger of fact and insult - just the recitation of facts, in the correct order, should constitute the most deadly of pejoratives, should burn into the skin, such that it would satisfy even a peckerwood such as myself.

Brian said...

Why are all the military terms so...sexual...in character. "Surge" Heh heh Heh Heh. he said "Surge"

roger said...

Ah, the idea that the troop increase will be short term is definitely getting more concrete. It turns out it will take hardly any time at all - at most, a decade. This is from the NYT softfocus analysis of the idea today:

"There is a risk that an adversary could wait out the American forces, evading major combat until American troops levels began to subside. For that reason, General Keane has argued that the United States should be prepared to carry out the expanded mission for 18 months, or perhaps longer, a far cry from the increase of several months that some Democratic lawmakers support."

Michael Gordon, who wrote the article, knows how to let butter melt in his mouth. The troop increase option just sort of "emerges" in his article - nobody really advocates it. Like all the great D.C. ideas, it comes from ... the Airloom.

I've got to find that Airloom, and destroy it.