by Bodwyn Wook
PROTAGONISTS Of realistic diplomacy (although not neo-conservative overwrought romantics or state-liberalist idealists) will agree that US withdrawal from Iraq may not be necessarily any more of an immediate disaster for american interests; already, failure in Mesopotamia has occurred; and, Persia has already benefitted.
Likewise, senior european, russian and chinese planners have drawn already their conclusions, about the state of US decline; and, they presumably now are in camera locked in their own internal policy-conflicts, about how to cash in on the opportunities availed by unfolding time and history.
MORE Harm at this point will occur if the United (sic) States try to persist in their newest replay of classical ‘strategic hamlets’ theory.
LESS Harm may ensue — and, perhaps, new opportunities for more effective shenanigans will manifest — if US forces can 1) vacate the immediate ground; and 2), re-visit our culture’s more-popular phantasies of technological, or ‘digital’, management of power-issues and the remote-control of upstart foreigners.
Especially covert operations, bribery, assassinations and elections-tampering are among our post-modernist strengths; and, these we should avail rather than colonialist police-actions on the ground.
These latter are sublimely harmful, as all involved should have learnt long since from the story of Algeria and Cochin China:
EXPOSURE Of our nice middle-class youngsters to Asians under duress is always bad for those youngsters. And bad now, too, for those not-so-young nor so nice, including the gangs and relays of swag-bellied Viet Nam-leftovers who somehow never could get on with it in civvy street; and, who now out-number our troops as ‘contractors’ in downtown Mespot.
The confucianist/buddhist set-up in Indo-china in the 1960s and 1970s inculcated a taste for dope and a lingering fascination among an embarrassing number of ‘baby boomers’, with sexual touristry.
Dope is less available seemingly in the Tigris-Euprhat delta; and, the indigenes as well do not so recklessly avail their females to the sexual relief of foreign soldiers, mainly for reasons of an unreasoning religious hostility and hate-filled immoderate prejudice against their occupiers.
HOWEVER, The post-modern U S Army recklessly perhaps has been doping these same troops with alertness-drugs and beverages; and, as well, not a few soldiers also are suffering long-term head-injuries. Additionally, they have been more brutalised on average one suspects than were the late-modern Viet Nam-era conscripts; whereas self-pity history shows clearly is everywhere, and in all places and all cases, the hysterical shadow of — volunteer and professional, mis-understood, classes.
We will not know the full extent of the social damage to ourselves, of course, until large numbers of the soldiers return, are de-mobbed and seek to make their way into emergency- and police-work, because of the resulting and inculcated, crude, taste for a generalised excitement.
Again, however, the more intelligent of these individuals may be retained as covert operators and longterm planners; for example, to ‘manage’ and eliminate the potential or actual islamist threats now currently fashionable within the american national capitol ‘beltway’.
For the great thing that has been brought home to us all is the nationally-suicidal disconnection in the society, as between ordinary Americans and ‘their’ government; this surely must be adding to the latent rage and feelings of betrayal and mis-use among the military.
The Great Idiocy is all the bright credentialled chatter, of ‘benchmarks’.
Reference to a concept from craft and industry and artisanship by soft-fingered ‘intelligence’ professionalists, who in no case do actual work and must therefore ‘work-out’ in health-spas, is a grotesquerie on the face of it; but, the benchmarks-jabbering offers the simian and ageing, tenured, ‘boomer’ endless paunchy opportunities for…hair-splitting and equivocation:
Out of the nine that were marked ‘satisfactory’ in the Bush-rigged initial report, members of Congress and, increasingly, both parties dispute the claims. According to the U S Government Accountability Office, for example, only three of the benchmarks were ‘met’ by the U S-sponsored administrative set-up, whilst it failed signally 11 (!) others.
Bushites aver a box-score of nine for seven, and two null; and, out in british-made ‘Iraq’, General David Petraeus loyally and devotedly strives to implement classic counter-insurgency doctrine, protecting areas already nominally ‘under control’; and, by clearing slowly additional areas of the country either under insurgent control or under insurgent ‘influence’.
The forces then are to oversee the flux of cash and ‘projects’ that are supposed to bring the triumph of greed over religious- and patriotic- and moral-resistance.
The goal, seemingly, is ‘democracy’, or the american time-payments version anyway ; accordingly, the noisy peace of the Thursday-night american shopping maul and all of the little mahometan girls going about semi-naked must surely represent the final benchmark of all?
Only no one by now, but no one, even knows what is going on.
The occupation-government of a neighbourhood of Baghdad has not been stabilised; and, moreover, it is not at all clear whether the U S military will have the necessary congressional support for the necessary troop numbers to continue spinning its reprise of ‘strategic hamlets’ for the period of time necessary for it to succeed. In this fuggy atmosphere, any sustained large troop presence is difficult to expect; it is because, in addition to these recently-counterfeited ‘benchmarks’ vying for respectability, there are the polls. These are sacrosanct in the american public opinion-market; and, supposedly, they allow the abstract professionals of urbane public opinion accurately to assess the state of — popular opinion.
And, so, what do the nice numbers say?
ACCORDING To a late survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 54 per cent of Americans want US troops out of Iraq ‘as soon as possible,’ with only 39 per cent responding that the United States should stay in Iraq.
So whither the american policy-establishment?
This public is not the same public as went through World War Two; its short attention-span must be the despair to-day of neo-conservatives in all quarters. And yet these polls for all their art do not avail planners with the sort of insight into populations that World War Two british Mass-Observation reporting provided. In that system, intelligent correspondents such as myself from throughout the kingdom sent in regular detailed descriptions of what they heard said actually, by friends and neighbours at home and at work.
Accordingly, Whitehall had a fair idea of the real durability of Englishmen — far better the british civil service did that, than does this incompetent post-modern american elite, all cocooned and dependent on…wire-tapping?
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 26 September 2007]