Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mum-Economic Centrism, Apocalyptic Centrism, and the President's Plan to Win In Iraq - Read the Already Published Plan Here!

Rich Lowry from National Review Online has written an interesting article about Lou Dobbs, calling him, "CNN's self-discrediting anchor". I've never been a watcher of CNN, in general, and never Lou Dobbs in particular. My experience with CNN was in its early days when it was a "new way to look at news". The same goes for "network" television. I haven't watched it for about 20 years, except an occasional desire to see Jack Bauer break someone's kneecap! So, my comments on Mr. Dobbs will be from Mr. Lowry's perspective. Lowry refers to Dobbs as an "Apocalyptic Centrist"; that is, someone who consistently looks at the bad things going on around us. In part, Lowry says;

"His trick is to spout clichés drawn from the Right and the Left — any one of which has a 50/50 chance that the average person will agree with it — and give them a patina of freshness by wrapping them in angry and dire rhetoric. That rhetoric is their essential glue, making Dobbs the country’s foremost practitioner of apocalyptic centrism."

I realize, of course, that I do the same sort of thing on this blog. Lou does it for ratings - I do it because I actually see us trending in that direction. In other words, the social changes and "progress" made in the last 100 years (historically) seems to be taking us more towards a "marxist" (small "m") society as opposed to a classical Jeffersonian society. The embrace and acceptance of Marxist Political Correctness is a prime example. At the same time I understand that America swings back and forth and usually settles down near the center, or just left of center.

Rich Lowry, as the counter to Dobbs, seems to be a reasonable conservative who will chastise the President and his fellow republicans from time to time, but becomes fairly mum when he talks about economics. I would call Rich Lowry a "Mums the Word Economic Centrist". Realizing that the President and his administration fellows are much smarter than I, if this country needs to become more "third world-ish" economically, so be it! Arguing from this view, the middle-class will eventually become a much smaller technical class hanging on to the proverbial butt of the upper class, and the majority of Americans, purposely ill-educated and purposely diluted with illegal cheap labor, will become Americas "third world", complete with the crime and problems associated with this kind of society! This is precisely the moment that the Rich Lowry's of the world become "deaf and dumb". The economic policies are going well, he might say, just look at the stock market! Don't worry about the so-called North American Union and the Amero because it will never happen! And beside, if it does - it will be good for you! This when my trust in this type begins to vanish rapidly.

Obviously, an in-depth study needs to be done addressing what is really happening to our society. Admittedly, all I have to go on is what I see in my town. It doesn't look good! Nonsense, Tiger, you might say. Just make sure you're not in that lower class! To which I answer, "you're wrong, that is not what America is supposed to be about!"

There is a third archetype here that deserves mention. I'll call it the "Fred Barnes type". Mr. Barnes, of the Weekly Standard says the President has a plan to win in Iraq! Mr. Barnes has been saying this since he was born, basically. President Bush could start building ovens and poison-gas showers and Barnes would find something positive to say about it! (just a joke, Fred - get over it!) Understand this; I want to win in Iraq very much - we should have been almost done by now - and taking vacations in Baghdad seeing the sights. The new plan can be read here. It states that the way to secure stability in Iraq is to first obtain stability in Baghdad. We take 50,000 additional troops and place them in the city while still securing the rest of the country. There's more to the plan than this so you should read all of it.

To my way of thinking, if my enemy is concentrated within a large city then it's time for me to rage holy hell in all other locations, eventually and effectively surrounding that large fortified city. Also, since I have "suicide-soldiers", I would conduct kamikazi raids on the large city killing as many as possible. I would also increase activity across the border with Syria and Iran, bringing in as much death as possible. Asymetric warfare is about taking every opportunity possible to cause damage without getting yourself obliterated. In the case of Muslim extremism, an almost endless supply of troops are available and more are being born every day. If the "Plan" does not do anything regionally, I predict right now; IT WILL NOT WORK! Like lots of things I say here, lately; I HOPE LIKE HEAVEN I'M WRONG!

6 comments:

whit said...

I agree that the problem is regional and will require a regional treatment.

Diana West's observation:
The first option is military, but it carries a seemingly insurmountable cultural override. The fact is, the United States has an arsenal that could obliterate any jihad threat in the region once and for all, whether that threat is bands of IED-exploding "insurgents" in Ramadi, the deadly so-called Mahdi Army in Sadr City, or genocidal maniacs in Tehran. In other words, it's a disgrace for military brass to talk about the 21st century struggle with Islam as necessarily being a 50- to 100-year war. Ridiculous. It could be over in two weeks if we cared enough to blast our way off the list of endangered civilizations.

As a culture, however, the West is paralyzed by the specter of civilian casualties, massive or not, that accompanies modern (not high-tech) warfare, and fights accordingly. It may well have been massive civilian casualties in Germany (40,000 dead in Hamburg after one cataclysmic night of "fire-bombing" in 1943, for example) and Japan that helped end World War II in an Allied victory. But this is a price I doubt any Western power would pay for victory today.

So, the military solution -- which isn't the same as boosting ROE-cuffed troop levels in Baghdad -- is out, unless or until our desperation level rises to some insupportably manic level. The great paradox of the "war on terror," of course, is that as our capacity and desire to protect civilians in warfare grows, our enemy's capacity and desire to kill civilians as a means of warfare grows also. Our fathers saved us from having to say, "Sieg Heil," but what's next -- "Allahu akbar"?

Not necessarily. There's another Middle Eastern strategy to deter expansionist Islam: Get out of the way. Get out of the way of Sunnis and Shiites killing each other. As a sectarian conflict more than a thousand years old, this is not only one fight we didn't start, it's one we can't end. And why should we? If Iran, the jihad-supporting leader of the Shiite world, is being "strangled" by Saudi Arabia, the jihad-supporting leader of the Sunni world, isn't that good for the Sunni-and-Shiite-terrorized West? With the two main sects of Islam preoccupied with an internecine battle of epic proportions, the non-Muslim world gets some breathing room. And we sure could use it -- to plan for the next round.

whit said...

I posted your appraisal of Kagan's plan over at the Elephant Bar.

Doug said...

Blood and Money
In what might be called the mother of all surprises, Iraq's economy is growing strong, even booming in places.

Tiger said...

In part, Doug's link says:

It goes without saying: real progress won't be seen until the security situation clears up. Iraq still lacks a functioning banking system. Though there's an increasing awareness of Iraq as a potential emerging market, foreign investors won't make serious commitments until they are assured a measure of stability. Local moneymen are scarcely more bullish on the long term. In Iraq's nascent bond market, buyers have so far been willing to invest in local-currency Treasury bills with terms up to six months, max.

Doug, we are, without any doubt, having more positive effect on Iraq than the MSM acknowledges. The security problem is regional, though, and until the Bush Admin begins to make Syria and Iran "toe the line", improvements will be sidetracked or minimized.

Lady Hawk said...

syria's and iran's leaders are cowards-like "saddamn hosedsane" who swore he would never be captured alive; a series of serious bombings (not necessarily nuclear) in iran and syria would quickly make these countries capitulate. Japan suffered great civilian loss from the a-bomb, but the war quickly ended aferward. Enough is enough let's get the job done!

allen said...

tiger,

"Mr. Barnes has been saying this since he was born, basically."

That is FUNNY!