Wednesday, October 18, 2006

See, how hard is it?

Jonathan Kay does what Michael Ignatieff can't - admit that Iraq is a clusterfuck, and he was wrong to support the war. Kay gets extra points by citing the Lancet survey as the critical juncture, and even daring to print - in the National Post! - that Bush's war is killing people faster than Saddam ever did. He gets further points (with me, the ultimate arbiter of these things as you all well know) when he writes:
The depressing thing is that it never had to be this way. As demonstrated by two recent must-read books -- State of Denial by Bob Woodward, and Fiasco by Washington Post Pentagon correspondent Thomas E. Ricks -- this war could have had a happy ending (at least from a humanitarian perspective) had Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz listened to the many experts who warned them to put more boots on the ground. Instead, America invaded with what Ricks calls "perhaps the worst war plan in American history." George W. Bush's war cabinet wanted a revolution, but they wanted it on the cheap. Iraqis are paying for this penury with their lives.
This was clear to any half-competent military observer, and even incompetent proto-bloggers like me. (Look to the sidebar - I didn't start this blog thingy until 2004.) These men were waging a war that was as much ideological as it was military - Rumsfeld wanted to prove his theories about cheap, light, mobile war without any of the messy, labor- and time-intensive work of occupation. There was a specific goal in mind: Proving that America could wage multiple low-cost wars, so that war would be more appealing to American policymakers.

In short, Iraq was supposed to be the opening salvo in a series of wars designed to a) make militarism the default policy of the US government, and b) cow America's enemies by showing how hopeless it was to stand up to America's military might. If you needed a single word, "imperialism" wouldn't be too far off.

For those who had eyes to see it, this was all out in the open. For those who refused to see it - and still refuse to see it - no evidence will ever suffice.

(Thanks for the link, Olaf!)


Olaf said...


Where would this blog be without me?

jack grant said...

Indeed, Olaf, but don't get excited blogman , just because you got another visitor. I was trying to Google Kay's idiotic editorial, and got just two hits, one of them your blog.

Well, enough praise for your blog. I haven't been able to find the Lancet original tonight, but the 95% confidence interval (mean of 655000 ) was (CI:393000-943000). In polling terms, that's 655000 +/- 40% 19 times out or twenty. Wow. Most of us are skeptical of polls with CI of 3 or 4 %, and that's not to mention the dubiousness of the survey on other grounds. Try Google if you're interested to know more.