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Showing posts from August 22, 2004
Bollettino LI has been trying to catch up with Daedalus. The summer issue is, apparently, full of blasts against Bush. Alas, LI hasn’t figured out how to get back door access to the issue. So we went back to Winter 2003 , which we could get access to. Winter 2003 is dominated by liberal interventionism a la Michael Ignatieff. However, there were a few articles that resisted the wish fulfillment fantasy of Harvard intellectuals being showered with flowers as they rode on tanks into various liberated cities. (This is, by the way, a narrative pattern which we associate with the Cold War – but LI wonders about the order of cause and effect here. The narrative surely precedes the Cold war – in fact, it seems to be a narrative to which American intellectuals have been attached at least since the war against the “bandits” in the Phillipines at the turn of the twentieth century. There are plenty of hints of it in the Civil War. To disassociate the narrative from its object is a necessary pr
Bollettino LI is cautiously optimistic about the latest developments in Iraq. It has always been our position that: a. the U.S. occupation is neither motivated by the desire for democracy nor conducive to it; b. that the insurgents are neither motivated by the desire for democracy nor conducive to it; c. that the mass of Iraqis are motivated to produce a state that is democratic – has separate legislative, executive and judicial branches, has elections, guarantees certain basic rights. Our opinion was that the struggle between the U.S. and the insurgents created a command vacuum in which democracy can actually happen – that is, in which the Iraqis can take power into their own hands. However, that struggle could equally stifle Iraqi autonomy. In fact, for the last four or five months, it has looked increasingly like stifling was the name of the game. Obviously, Allawi, the U.S. puppet, looks for his leadership cues to the standard Middle Eastern tyrant model. That he can use
Bollettino Back in November of 03 – about 500 American, and God knows how many Iraqi deaths ago – it became apparent enough that the occupation was being botched that the ardent pro-war party started throwing around analogies. The one that was particularly beloved was to Germany. Somehow, you don’t hear a lot of comparisons of occupied Germany to occupied Iraq nowadays. Even the rabidly gullible have given that analogy up. At the time (Nov. 13), LI wrote: ” There’s a pernicious meme that emerged at the end of the �hostilities� in Iraq . The meme was that occupying Iraq would be much like occupying Germany or Japan at the end of World War II. Now, the elements of the likeness, here, were broadly two: The U.S. invaded another country. The U.S. occupied that country. This is about as far as we could go with that analogy. Not only is this a different country, with a very different history. Not only did the occupation of Germany and Japan take place in the face of the Soviet Union’s
Bollettino While NYC prepares for an occupation, Paris celebrates a liberation. A neat, although somewhat spurious, antithesis. LI is home from NYC, and our impression is that the Republican convention really should have been held, as Tom DeLay suggested, on cruise boats outside of Manhattan. DeLay’s suggestion was prompted, apparently, by his belief that New York City isn’t in America. Also, isn’t the Republican Party about yachting before everything? Alas, it appears that DeLay’s party is locked into various landlubber’s contracts forcing them to celebrate the most incompetent administration since Harding’s in various suspiciously smelly venues physically connected to Satan's lair. Paris, at the moment, is more concerned with the Liberation that happened in 1944. In the Independent today there is an article about one aspect of the celebration. The French government is encouraging volunteers to dance down the streets of Paris. But not boogey – not that “rocknroll mayonnaise
Bollettino LI is in NYC for the moment. We wrote a one sentence post that Blogger, somehow, didn’t register. We would play by play this visit, except that that information is privileged: we are using it to embody the life of one of the characters in the novel we are writing. We have also considered the topic of NYC on the eve of Bush’s tropic of cannibals convention, but we would only say the expected: given our own political and cultural prejudices, and those of our friends, we did not meet, shall we say, with a lot of receptivity to the idea from Gothamites. So no, just a small note about economics. The NYT published an article about the oil price shock Friday that encapsulated current Wall Street wisdom. That wisdom scoffs at the idea that an oil price spike, in a semi-deflationary climate, is going to do much to this economy. What amazes us about such wisdom is that the same people who are continually ranting about globalism seem so unable to apply it to such things as oil pr