Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Over at Dean's World, Esmay points out a snarky catch by James Taranto of some establishment pragmatism, or as he might put it, willful blindness. Taranto quotes from the Waah! Post:
Scowcroft, in his interview, discussed an argument over Iraq he had two years ago with Condoleezza Rice, then-national security adviser and current secretary of state. "She says we're going to democratize Iraq, and I said, 'Condi, you're not going to democratize Iraq,' and she said, 'You know, you're just stuck in the old days,' and she comes back to this thing that we've tolerated an autocratic Middle East for fifty years and so on and so forth," he said. The article stated that with a "barely perceptible note of satisfaction," Scowcroft added: "But we've had fifty years of peace."
James then injects some historical reality:
Now let's see. Between 1953 and 2003, here are the Mideast wars we can think of off the top of our head: the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, the two Palestinian intifadas against Israel, the Algerian Civil War, the Yemen Civil War and two Sudanese civil wars. That doesn't even count acts of terror against non-Mideastern countries, from the Iranian invasion of the U.S. Embassy to the attacks of 9/11.

What do you call someone who describes this as "50 years of peace"? A "realist."
One witty denunciation of Scowcroft came in comments at Dean's from contributor TallDave:
IIRC, Scowcroft was also one of the people insisting we could not allow the Soviet Union to collapse.

Most of the so-called "realists" lost sight of the primary reason we were opposed to the Soviets: freedom, not stability.
Sadly, this is another case of people misunderstanding each other because they have very different goals. Consider two different businessfolk, both interested in maximizing their profits.

It may well be hypothetically true that, in the long run, the best way to make the most profits is with economic freedom for everyone, even if that means wiping out totalitarian looter states. That, however, has very little to do with my gains from stock options in the near future. In the short run, the best way to make the most profits for those big corporations already sitting on top of the heap is with political stability. Messing with the status quo opens too many doors to possible newcomers competing with you. The reason Scowcroft was always a favorite of Our Noble Lame Duck's papa was that the ex-General was always clearly on the side of maintaining things as they are, regardless of how many Gulags that required us to ignore.

To quote an old saying (or should I say a distant alternate future one?) by Mayor Salvor Hardin, "Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right." Naturally, I am -- as always -- defining "right" here as "what is best for the super corporations". Starry-eyed idealists whose hearts are bleeding for liberty are ever an irritating speed bump to those of us really on the inside of the big boardrooms. Brent only meant "no wars where the U.S. sent in American troops". Few firms other than soon-to-be ex-Veep Cheney's old stomping ground are raking in the gains from the Excellent Iraqi Adventure, hence Scowy's sour grapes.

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