If you follow political blogs, you may have seen the biggest conservative blog self-ownage in the history of blogs. Senator Biden recently came out with a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq that was viciously attacked by many popular conservative blogs. But later, the White House endorsed Biden’s plan, and the blogs were left with their pants down.
And yet, oddly enough, not one of these worthies has seen fit to comment on Bush’s embrace of Biden’s plan. And it’s not lack of time: they have somehow managed to fit in posts on Whoopi Goldberg, Cindy Sheehan, the Carnival of the Cats, and all sorts of other momentous topics. But somehow the fact that our President is, by their standards, unfit to direct our foreign policy seems to have escaped their notice.
I think by now most of you will agree that the reasons for invading Iraq and Afghanistan are more geopolitical than anything else. It’s fascinating that in the history of civilization the art of politics hasn’t really changed. I guarantee that hundreds of years from now there will be leaders pushing wars that are unfavorable to the working classes, who end up supporting them anyway. (The US Civil War comes to mind, where Southern land owners convinced poor white men to fight for “freedom” when it was just about free labor.) While Bush’s gross incompetencies can not be ignored, they would have never surfaced if he was a better marketer. Otherwise, this war is no different from other conflicts we have been in. It wasn’t that long ago when we invaded an entire country and lost almost two dozen Americans to capture a drug dealer (who will be eligible for parole in 2029).
A lot of people complain that this war is a total waste, both in monetary cost and human life, but I know at least one defense contractor who disagrees. The war in Iraq has transfered huge sums of public money to the military complex of private contractors and big business, helping a weak economy while shifting wealth to the rich. But a war like this alone isn’t enough to prop up our economy, so you have a Fed with lax interest-rate policies and the scandal-ridden Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac charters to create a huge housing bubble where people are taking imaginary money out of creative loans to buy the latest SUV and 60-inch plasma television. Without this war, bubbles or bloated agencies, our unemployment and GDP growth rate would make France look like a superpower.
The only way I can sleep at night is by knowing that I will never fully understand how bad things really are. When you live in a country whose citizens are more worried about gas prices and fetuses, and politicians who are more willing to investigate football than spy leaks, there will be no full disclosure, no detailed descriptions of cigars in vaginas. This can only be good, because if we only knew the extent of the house of cards we live in, we’d be boring people talking about things like economic indicators instead of hot celebrity marriages.