“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

Monday, January 01, 2007

While Chalabi lounges in London, the 3,000th American soldier is killed

First things first: to find the location of a vigil near you for the 3000th American soldier killed in Iraq, go to the American Friends site.

Now, to get out the knives.

Anne Applebaum’s typically braindead obit for Hussein – a little like Hitler, a little like Stalin, throw on olive oil and bake in the pundit oven for three minutes, blah blah blah – was enlivened by the inevitable nod to Kanan Makiya, Republic of Fear. The mention of Makiya started another train of thought, however, in LI’s mind. While Hussein was the bloody dictator Applebaum describes, one thing he didn’t do – he didn’t flee Iraq. He had the means to. He could have surely gone, as his family did, to Jordan. He could have found a way to get to Libya. But he stayed in Iraq, and was captured, and was hung.

Kanan Makiya, on the other hand, helped to generate the American invasion. He was one of those who suggested the disastrous extreme de-Baathification program, the dissolution of the army, etc. He was at all the conferences. He was a regular hero of moral integrity for the neo-cons. But, inexplicably, after helping liberate Iraq, he didn’t move there. In fact, apparently he lives in the States, and he pulls down lucrative fees from his association with Benador Associates, a whack job agency dedicated to promoting blood in their mouths Middle East hawks – need someone to recommend bombing Iran for your next chamber of commerce meeting? Call Benador.

Similarly, Ahmed Chalabi is now residing in London.

And, of course, we recently witnessed the escape from prison of an Iraqi official charged with peculation, who simply used mercenaries to break him out of the Green Zone. He will no doubt be flying back to Chicago.

Now, LI has just the tiniest peckerwood rage that the devisors of a war in which 3,000 American soldiers have been killed so far – this hardy band of Iraqi patriots – aren’t patriotic to go back to Iraq. So here’s a proposal: why not prod this band back to the country they so love and cherish? If Iraqis in the U.S. could vote in the last Iraqi election, surely they can be punished under the system of Iraqi law. If the Iraqi exiles that allied with the scummiest members of the permanent War Party in D.C. can play a role in sending kids from Nebraska to Iraq to operate as decoys in Anbar province, perhaps those same Iraqi exiles could test the waters in the new, ultra-liberated Baghdad?

Iraq – if Saddam Hussein could stay there after the fall of Baghdad, perhaps Kanan Makiya should try it. Or shut the fuck up.

PS – while it is simply cruel and unusual punishment to inflict comments about Christopher Hitchens on my poor readers, I had to smile about his latest war tourist piece in Slate:

“I flew to Baghdad from the northern city of Erbil, by the ordinary means of buying a local Iraqi Airlines ticket, boarding a plane that made a stop in Sulaymaniyah, and landing at the former Saddam Hussein International Airport. The whole exercise was almost weirdly normal. The plane was full of ordinary citizens carrying plastic hold-alls, with cheerful, unveiled hostesses handing out snacks and drinks. The terminal was quiet, and the airport road (which used to be known as "Route Irish" and was the scene of incessant mayhem) is these days considered fairly safe and has been stabilized by the Iraqi army. I stopped to be photographed with a unit of this force, a group of cheerful and professional young men.”

The photo op at the end of this Scoop-like passage is the gorgeous bit that just topples the creaky bogus tone into that something extra - it is that sweet moment of ridiculousness that transcends the mere booming egotism of the Hitchens persona, and becomes true self-parody. Isn’t this just like Bertie Wooster after the testosterone patch? Hitchens punishment for having taken on the role of a warmongering zombie is that he now writes like one, 24/7. The punishment fits the crime.

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