Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ah yes, now I remember

...why I continue to hate Henry Kissinger with every fiber of my being:
“Why did you support the Iraq war?” Gerson asked him [Kissinger.]

“Because Afghanistan wasn’t enough,” Kissinger answered. In the conflict with radical Islam, he said, they want to humiliate us. “And we need to humiliate them.”
So of course, Kissinger - his aim as accurate as it was during Cambodia - advocated a war to humiliate the Muslim world by attacking the most secular state in the region.

Monstrous incompetents, all of them.

In the next life, someone will have to explain to me why, say, showering the people of Afghanistan will $300 billion in aid and reconstruction would not have been sufficiently humiliating for the crazed lunatics of Al Qaeda. (No, Olaf, I'm not saying we respond to 9/11with only humanitarian aid. Sit down.) Responding to attacks and acts of violence with generosity - turning the other cheek, to quote some guy - has a long history in western thought. Certainly, rebuilding Afghanistan properly would have a) delegitimized the charge that the west, and the US particularly, hates Muslims, and b) would have been a better use of the Iraq monies anyway.

Hmm.... $300 billion over Afghanistan's 31 million comes to... just under $10,000 a piece for every man, woman, and child in Afghanistan. Over the last five years, that would amount to $2,000 per person per year, or increasing Afghanistan's per capita GDP by two and a half times.

Actually, I suspect avoiding the Iraq war and rebuilding Afghanistan competently would have been humiliating for the crazed lunatics under bin Laden. The Taliban would have no way of saying - like they do today - that things were better during their tenure in Kabul.

This scenario would not, however, have been sufficiently humiliating to Muslims for the crazed lunatics in the Bush Administration.

3 comments:

Herbinator said...

A solid post! Right on.

FurGaia said...

Every era has its monster. Behold ours!

Olaf said...

John,

That was a very impressive post, well argued.

No, Olaf, I'm not saying we respond to 9/11with only humanitarian aid. Sit down.

I actually stood up and yelled at the screen for a good 30 seconds, before reading the next line and becoming immediately embarrassed.

I guess, if I had to mount a criticism of the line of logic (which I always seem to have to do for some reason), is that it's not like the US government allotted $300B to solve the problem, and just spent it unwisely... you can guarantee that if they had decided to pump aid into Afghanistan instead of Iraq, the aid would have been much, MUCH less generous. But your point still stands.

Also:

turning the other cheek, to quote some guy

I think that was Jon Bon Jovi is his 1980s classic "Livin' on a prayer"... but I could be wrong.

And finally, if you haven't read it yet, I suggest you read Chris Hitchens "The Trial of Henry Kissenger"... makes for a brief, but good, read, and it will crystalise your hate all the more.

On the back cover, he has a bunch of complimentary reviews, the final being Henry K. himself, who says "I find it contemptible".