Saturday, July 29, 2006

Late Bloomer

I've always been a bit of a late bloomer, missing the trendy trends, getting all geeky interested in something just as the public turns to something more exciting.

Take the Iraq war. I tried to read Cobra II, and did manage to get through the first 100 pages or so, but until recently, I'd stayed away from books about the war and the administration's foreign policy. Then I read The One Percent Doctrine and State of War. This week I began reading The Assassin's Gate, and although I probably won't get to it for at least another week, I also picked up Fiasco today.

But as it turns out, just as I'm finally getting around to reading about The War to Save American Civilization, Glenn Greenwald is noticing that The War That Was Once So Very Very Important, Even to the Point of Ostracizing, Threatening, and Terrorizing American Opponents of America's Holy War In Mesopotamia is getting about as much coverage now as a National Hockey League playoff series:

"And having insisted for years that the fate of the free world and American security hangs in the balance in Iraq, they now just want to forget about the whole thing, pretend it never happened, and shut their eyes to the disaster they created and which they so plainly cannot control.

It isn't just that our occupation of this imploding country is being ignored by the media. What is so striking is the way which Iraq is now being talked about. It is purely surreal how the primary challenge to Sen. Lieberman is described -- in a way that is intended to be dismissive, to belittle it -- as all stemming from just one little, tiny disagreement: Iraq. Gosh, Sen. Lieberman is such a great Senator -- he votes the right way on the environment and everything -- and all he did was make one little mistake -- Iraq -- and now everyone is turning on him. That is so irrational and mean and unfair.

It is the proponents of this invasion who have insisted that Iraq is the centerpiece of American national security, that it is the primary front in the war on terror, that failure is not an option, etc. etc. They used their militaristic posture in Iraq -- and the "appeasing weakness" of opponents of the invasion -- to win two consecutive national elections. And now that the extent of the damage they created is too glaring to be denied, they want to walk away from it all, insist that it's unfair to hold them accountable for it, and hope that the media moves on to more interesting and exciting adventures than the plodding, depressing collapse of Iraq."

As we say around these here Internets, read the whole thing.

Actually I'd been noticing this trend for awhile, most of all from the neo-cons themselves, bored with the shockless follow-through to the Shock and Awe of March 2003. The neo-cons had some time ago turned aside from Iraq towards Iran and Syria. The Iraq war was boring them. What was next?

But the conflict in Lebanon has both enabled a shift of attention away from Iraq while affirming the neo-con's new Iran-Syria mission. Mindful of this change in national priorities and popular obsession, I also picked up a book on Iran, just to stay ahead of the curve.

No comments: