Monday, December 13, 2004

And fuck academics, too

. . . to paraphrase two of the more poetic lines ("Fuck the regulations." and "Fuck jazz, too.") from the fine film starring Tim Roth, The Legend of 1900.

I attended a grad student's talk about population relocation and counter-insurgency. Of course, out of my interest in the Fallujah op, I attended the talk, thinking it was some big deal. I wanted to learn something. It turns out the talk was basically a review session for a dissertation. It provided an interesting jargony poli sci framework, which was okay. What I didn't like was the smarmy attitude about the American mission in Iraq. Literally, every grad student in the room thinks it's a joke - they laughed about it - and well on its way to failure. These quotes just swam into my head and onto my weblog.

I actually have these articles linked in my Oct 23 blog entry, Perspective on Operation Iraqi Freedom.

From Mr. President, Here's How To Make Sense Of Our Iraq Strategy:

Disconnecting the great disconnector from the Gulf’s security scene is only the beginning of our effort, because now Iraq becomes the great battle field for the soul of the whole region. That second victory will be far more difficult to achieve. Our efforts to integrate Iraq into a wider world will pit all the forces of disconnectedness in the region against us.

From The Case for George W. Bush:

All Abu Ghraib proves is what Lincoln made clear in his writings, and what any soldier has to know from the moment he sizes up another soldier in the sight of his rifle: that war is undertaken at the risk of the national soul. The moral certainty that makes war possible is certain only to unleash moral havoc, and moral havoc becomes something the nation has to rise above. We can neither win a war nor save the national soul if all we seek is to remain unsullied—pristine. Anyway, we are well beyond that now. The question is not, and has never been, whether we can fight a war without perpetrating outrages of our own. The question is whether the rightness of the American cause is sufficient not only to justify war but to withstand war's inevitable outrages. The question is whether—if the cause is right—we are strong enough to make it remain right in the foggy moral battleground of war.

- Eric

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