Too many people think stuff is more complex than it is. This allows them the conceit that only serious, detailed and “nuanced” approaches can be undertaken. Usually THEIR serious, detailed and “nuanced” approaches, interestingly enough, approaches informed by ideology rather than history, which is dumb on its face.
This is nonsense. Stuff is not nearly as complex as people looking for a reason to dominate others fantasize it to be. When anyone says the problem is “nuanced,” grab your intelligence and run.
Case in point: Iraq. There aren’t alot of complex issues there today, nor alot of complex choices. There are two choices, the same as most of us as kids had when Mom served dinner: Take it or leave it.
Take it. Leave it. Those are the ONLY choices. And judging from polling, most Americans are fine with the latter: Leave it.
Take… WHAT? A thousand-year sectarian war? A people and culture that have had access to all the ideas of the West since the Middle Ages: Liberty, Equality, Literacy, Self-government, Freedom, Human Rights, but have chosen illiteracy and intellectual and moral squalor instead?
We “took” Germany, an industrial, modern, educated nation, and are still there 70 years on. Taking any Islamic country will require occupation for at least the 500 years they’ve already spent rejecting modernity.
It is folly to think that ANYONE is up for a 500-year occupation or its costs. Or that it will take any less time.
“Take it” means TAKE IT. Like we took Germany. Complete destruction and 70 years (so far) of military presence. Maybe that made sense in 1945. Maybe it made sense because they had supported a stupendous dictator. Maybe it made sense because they were modern, intelligent, educated, industrialized Western people who just needed their aggression clamped down on after decades of attacking others, and to stop the Holocaust. We TOOK Germany, we DESTROYED their polity, and we didn’t wince at the collateral civilian damage required to do so. It was a war, and we were serious. Same with Japan. We TOOK them.
But if we aren’t serious, we can’t take it. So why try?
We KNOW we’re not serious. We haven’t been serious in warfare since 1945. And we haven’t yet been serious, nor shown any sign of being serious in S Asia or the Middle East (nor Africa, SE Asia, the Korean Peninsula…). Why would anyone think that would change?
Why NOT leave it? To pretend we can alleviate local misery? We tried that. The miserable locals hated us. Often they killed us or assisted others in killing us, making us miserable, too.
To make them a modern Western Liberal Democracy? Pardon me while I try to stop laughing.
To protect them from religious fanatics killing everyone who disagrees with them? They ARE religious fanatics killing everyone who disagrees with them. We “saved” Kuwait a generation ago, and the next month they were back to executing apostates. Since nothing has changed in a millennium, it is absurd to think something will change in a generation or two. Or three. Or a few hundred.
Because thousands of Americans died trying to save them from themselves? So it makes good sense to send out thousands MORE Americans to die trying to save them from themselves? Seriously? Can’t get much more stupid than that. (Unless, of course we’re talking Farm Bill, SNAP, AFDC, 99 weeks of unemployment, Solyndra, Dodd-Frank, Obamacare, Progressive economics… but I digress.)
Why NOT leave it?
These guys LOVE killing each other. They have NOTHING better to do. For a millennium they have chosen killing over progress and the modern world. Guys living in mud huts with imprisoned wives, guys who murder their own daughters and strap bombs on their sons, don’t go to the office to plan the next SAP installation for their automated factory. They are tribal. History shows that ALL tribal societies kill everyone NOT of their tribe: Souix v. Crow. Sunni v. Shia. What do you think the IRA was doing in the UK? Same deal: outside the tribe.
The problem is ignorance masquerading as intelligence (see: Kerry, John; Clinton, either; Obama, totally), and the conceit that inter-tribal warfare can be stopped without killing the tribe or forcibly yanking it into the modern world – and AWAY from tribal customs and traditions. How do you think we “won the West” in America from a pre-modern tribal people? We killed them. We TOOK it.
So we CAN leave it, but we’re UNWILLING to take it. Pretty easy choice, then isn’t it? I mean if we are going to pretend we are serious.
Take it or Leave it?