Thanks and Apologies

Hitler: Iranian?

Thank you kindly, Idiot Savant and Russell Brown, for the mad hook-ups. Apologies to my mother. Mum, you’re no longer the privileged sole reader of this blog. Plus, I’m gay. Just kidding. Or is it? Russell referred to me as “former award-winning Craccum editor”. I like that. It suggests that I was award-winning a while back, but no longer. Or am they?

Speaking of the fairer orientation, there’s too much cool shit on Metafilter today for me to pick a link and pretend like I’m informed. They are, in no particular order, testable hypotheses regarding the “gay gene”, the Passivhaus architecture that’s already necessary, and some guys finding their perfect supervillain hideout behind Niagara Falls.

The US is accusing Iran of funding two sides of the same conflict, which has a weird symmetry to it, especially given that half of the Reagan-era staff are now advising Bush. Uninterestingly and unsurprisingly, the suggestion that the recent incarnation of the Ayatollah Saddam bin Castro is behind American troubles comes shortly after Bush’s ridiculously unpopular decision to escalate augment US troops in Iraq. Condoleezza Rice heard a few complaints from her own party:

Madam Secretary, when you set in motion the kind of policy that the president is talking about here, it’s very, very dangerous. As a matter of fact, I have to say, Madam Secretary, that I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam – if it’s carried out. I will resist it.
– Senator Chuck Hagel (R)

And the Democrats chipped in:

I fear that what the president has proposed is more likely to make things worse. We hoped and prayed we would hear of a plan that would have two features: to begin to bring American forces home and a reasonable prospect of leaving behind a stable Iraq. Instead, we heard a plan to escalate the war, not only in Iraq but possibly into Iran and Syria as well. I believe the president’s strategy is not a solution, Secretary Rice. I believe it’s a tragic mistake.
– Senator Joseph Biden (D)

How ill-informed and regrettable of them. The Herald notes today that both those in favour and those opposed to escalation are “right”, in that the choice is between upping the violence of the illegally occupying Coalition, and leaving the country to spiral even more into civil war.
This is exactly what opponents of the war originally said would happen, and I remember talking to Americans who talked about just going in, finding the WMD – or, once the invasion began, “changing the regime” – and being home in time for a smoked kipper. What I said then was that if the invasion occurs, international law requires that the occupying force stays long enough to leave the territory stable, with a working police and defence force.
The suggestion that the Coalition should stay in Iraq until it’s stable is not popular with anyone at the moment. It’s not popular with opponents of the war in general – “occupation is not liberation; US out of Iraq now” – and it’s not popular with the American public in general, cos their boys are dying a bit too much. And it’s expensive.
William Polk, author of Out of Iraq, argues that the violence will settle down far more quickly without the presence of the foreign aggressors:
We argue that, based on what is known of other insurgencies, once the major irritant – us — is removed, conditions can be created for a healing of the wounds. To encourage and promote that process, we advocate a careful program including a “stabilization force” under the UN working for the Iraq government to police the major facilities (roads, hospitals, schools, banks, factories, etc.). This force would not engage in counterinsurgency and would have a limited mandate so the things that have made an American presence unacceptable will be lessened.
And Tariq Ali has an interesting take in an interview with the Socialist Worker. As he says at the end, victory for the resistance (much of which is currently being called “sectarian violence”) would involve the occupier leaving and the people having control of their natural resources – “but will the US allow this to happen?” Given the massive investment already made, and America’s tendency to stick around for a while, I don’t like their chances.

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