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« The sprawling redundancy of the GOP race to the bottom | Main | Reality TV and the GOP presidential race »

May 26, 2015


Peter G

What a different world we might have today if only the elder Bush and his wife Barbara had read the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty to their intellectually challenged son. Really drilled this into him. He might then have known what soldiers and horse's asses can and cannot do.

Peter G

Alas, if only this particular horse's ass had listened to himself.


One wonders what Lawrence of Arabia would think of the current state of affairs. Since Iraq was a product of British and French colonialism and never a country that had formed by means of local politics, the current strife could probably have been predicted since the early 20th century, when it was a hotbed of unsuccessful military coups. Britain, which maintained a presence in Iraq starting around 1915, wasn't able to bug out until 1954.

All the more stupid our neocons who around the same time were actually aligned with liberals. After following in the footsteps of the French colonization of Vietnam to disastrous effect, they switched parties and performed the same trick in Iraq. Will they ever go away?


It's impossible to know if Cheney really believed what he was saying or just knew he could never push for a full invasion under Bush I like he did under the dry drunk son.

Anne J

Maybe Iraq was never meant to be one country in the first place? I am beginning to think that the neocons were trying out their own version of the Arab Spring before the people of the middle east tried it themselves. With even more disastrous results. And now they want to try it again especially if the next Bush idiot gets into office. Can't we just go green and leave the middle east, ALL of it to the people who live there? And I've tried and tried to understand, but why do we kiss Israel's butt so hard? Can't we leave them to fend for themselves?


Oh god, Anne. Literally. Believe it or not out here in fly-over country there are a significant number of everyday Americans who believe the survival of Israel is the catalyst to bring about the second coming. A lot of them are highly motivated and have phones and can even write to congress, so they must be pandered to. And then there's AIPAC, a money source for politicians so large it cannot be ignored. There are also a lot of defense contractors who sell their wares to Israel paid for with our own taxpayer dollars. Probably more importantly, though, there are also legitimate reasons having to do with geopolitics and history since WWII.

Peter G

Which only leaves us with the question of whether the second Bush was ignoring the sound advice of his father or the sound advice of '94 Cheney? Or both.


Anne, none of the current borders in the Middle East make any sense from a religious or ethnic perspective. They are simply the product of the victors of WW I dividing up the spoils of the defunct Ottoman Empire. The emphasis was placed on oil, and the borders were drawn specifically to create ethnic divisions within the newly formed protectorates that could be exploited by the Mandate Era rulers. From an anthropological perspective, one could argue that nation states have no foundation in the Middle East. The region remains divided by tribal and religious divides, whose existence can be discerned for the past two millennia at least.

The Raven

As Al Stewart sings, "I'm here sitting in the wreck of Europe / With a map of Europe and the lines and the borders are gone." A cheery bouncy song (it is even a round) about a very grim subject.

"Then I'll take a bit of Turkey
Then a lot of Turkey
This is all quite a heady affair
There's Persia and Iraq to pick up
And there's Churchill's hiccup
And we can't leave it up in the air.


Pax vobiscum
Pax vobiscum"—League of Notions

The Raven

And I see my link to the song got eaten, so here it is in the plain:

The Raven

The problem with leaving the Israelis to themselves is they wouldn't last a year in conventional war without US support and they are a nuclear power.

So if disaster is to be avoided, diplomacy will be required.


And I didn't even know there was such a thing as historical folk rock. Brilliant stuff.

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