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Showing posts from August 7, 2005

Iraq -- the prisoner's dilemma

Crooked Timber pays entirely too much attention ot the ravings of Christopher Hitchens, if only to slag the man. However, a recent post on one of Hitchen's ineffably ignorant Slate columns regarding Iraq (a frequent subject of Hitchen's Slate columns, and proof that you can have a 100 percent failure rate in journalism and still find lucrative work, making it one of those soft industries, like filmmaking and politics, to whose compensation packages we can only aspire), provoking the usual comments pro and anti-war, once again made me think about the way the verb "support" has exerted an odd and malign hegemonic control over the discourse. In reality, the Iraq war is a sort of prisoner's dilemma in which the rational response is to order one's preferences with reference to the chance of their being realized. "Support" of the war, and opposition to it, contains a disabling germ of confusion, since the vision of the victory that would end the war one w