Search This Blog

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Vast Despondency


... covers the planet, as we await our fate.
The graphic story of Hellboy is very much positive and cheery compared to the thoughts of the impossible dilettantes of destruction that have mused and mourned about our futures in the media since 9/11.

Just the other day, I ran a composite of the Seven Gods Of Chaos:

Top: Wolfowitz, Kristol, Perle, Feith
Bottom:   Libby,  Bolton,  Ledeen

but there are more than a mere seven eldritch eminences... many more.

In the New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman has delved into dark and dangerous palantiri, I think:
Go Ahead, Ruin My Day
March 18, 2015
 As the saying goes, “to err is human, to forgive is divine,” to which I’d add: “to ignore” is even more human, and the results rarely divine. None of us would be human if we didn’t occasionally get so wedded to our wishes that we failed to notice — or outright ignored — the facts on the ground that make a laughingstock of our hopes...

Well, we know what he's talking about now, even though he has deftly hidden his topic from us.
He says, "...facts on the ground..."
Most people when they wish to talk about facticity or what is real and factual, merely use the expression "the facts".
Since Mr. Friedman's facts are "on the ground", we know he is talking about military matters, conflating "facts" with "boots" and imagining both being "on the ground".  Since Ramadi - which to me is the City of Ashes, just as Falluja is Pumbedita - has fallen recently to ISIS, we in in for a ride through the Middle East.
O.K., so we learn to live with Iran on the edge of a bomb, but shouldn’t we at least bomb the Islamic State to smithereens and help destroy this head-chopping menace? Now I despise ISIS as much as anyone, but let me just toss out a different question: Should we be arming ISIS? Or let me ask that differently: Why are we, for the third time since 9/11, fighting a war on behalf of Iran?
"I despise ISIS as much as anyone"?! Really! Nothing like establishing your creds, Friedman.
In 2002, we destroyed Iran’s main Sunni foe in Afghanistan (the Taliban regime). In 2003, we destroyed Iran’s main Sunni foe in the Arab world (Saddam Hussein). But because we failed to erect a self-sustaining pluralistic order, which could have been a durable counterbalance to Iran, we created a vacuum in both Iraq and the wider Sunni Arab world. That is why Tehran’s proxies now indirectly dominate four Arab capitals: Beirut, Damascus, Sana and Baghdad.
ISIS, with all its awfulness, emerged as the homegrown Sunni Arab response to this crushing defeat of Sunni Arabism — mixing old pro-Saddam Baathists with medieval Sunni religious fanatics with a collection of ideologues, misfits and adventure-seekers from around the Sunni Muslim world. Obviously, I abhor ISIS and don’t want to see it spread or take over Iraq. I simply raise this question rhetorically because no one else is: Why is it in our interest to destroy the last Sunni bulwark to a total Iranian takeover of Iraq? Because the Shiite militias now leading the fight against ISIS will rule better? Really?
"Homegrown Sunni Arab response..."  Sounds rather grassy-rootsy... if you ignore the beheadings and tortures and what-not.
If it seems as though we have only bad choices in the Middle East today and nothing seems to work, there is a reason: Because past is prologue, and the past has carved so much scar tissue into that landscape that it’s hard to see anything healthy or beautiful growing out of it anytime soon. Sorry to be so grim.

Mr. Friedman does not even condemn the choices that led us to this point. Why does he not rend his garments, pour ashes (ramaad) over his head and beg forgiveness for his support of the intrusion into Iraq.

What he calls "scar tissue" is the residue of the freely chosen sins of the fathers that shall be visited upon their children.

He is a frightened man who sees his past decisions coming to consume him.

 Second Great Awakening in America

The shallow ideas of American Exceptionalism and the mission of spreading its gospel in the form of globalization was a hidden theme of Mr. Friedman's. It is a direct descendant of the revivalist and missionary fervor of the 19th century American second and third Great Awakenings, where according to Percy Miller, quoting Edwards A. Park:
God had kept America hidden until the art of the printing press and the Reformation were achieved; then he ushered it on stage, and only now... can we see what God intended...
So has He designed this land for the comprehensive and variegated activity of His church; and as He has  mingled, so he will continue to mingle in it those diversified elements which coalesce with the richest and the most durable character... A character gleaned thus from all nations, will be so versatile, so energetic, as to qualify us for mingling with them all and elevating their religious spirit.
Miller; The Life of the Mind in America

Compare that to Friedman as discussed in Wikipedia:

Friedman first discussed his views on globalization in the book The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1999). In 2004, a visit to Bangalore, India, and Dalian, China, gave Friedman new insights into the continuing trends of globalization and the forces behind the process, leading him to write a follow-up analysis, The World Is Flat (2005).
One of Friedman's theses states that individual countries must sacrifice some degree of economic sovereignty to global institutions (such as capital markets and multinational corporations), a situation he has termed the "golden straitjacket"

Friedman supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, writing that the establishment of a democratic state in the Middle East would force other countries in the region to liberalize and modernize.

 I Abhor Firebombing Luxury Vehicles As Much As Anyone...

Through all of his work runs the thread of the superiority of his ideas of democracy, economy, religion, and society.

Now he sees what his ideas have wrought.


No comments: