Monday, April 08, 2002

I ask myself...
What do I think about this?

a moment of my restless political mind:

I oppose George W Bush attacking Iraq--and I've suspected from the start that (after he was done ignoring the California energy crisis) it has always been tops on his to-do list. But
today's piece by columnist William Safire in the New York Times both makes me question whether Iraqi intervention of a sort (increased support for the Kurds) is advisable after all and reaffirms to me that Bush is not after what's best for the innocents in Iraq (duh.). The article details a suicide attack aimed at Kurdish leader that occured while US diplomats were in the area, and how the Kurds captured one of the attackers and thus learned of the existence of "sixty Islamic terrorists, trained in Afghanistan by Osama bin Laden," who are currently in Northern Iraq as "guests of Saddam Hussein." According to Safire, they intend to attack Kurdish leaders in an action similar (his parallel) to that which took out Afghan opposition leader Massoud on 9/9/01. Safire comes off as 1) a decided anti-Iraq Hawk, and 2) criticial of Bush for not giving meaningful support to the Kurdish opposition (frankly, the 2 is the only reason that I gave an ear to 1).

So what do I think about that?

I'm trying to figure that out. I think that Saddam is dangerous, but I don't think that an overt US attack is a good idea--I don't trust Bush, his cabinet, or his advisors in their motives or their capabilities. And I feel certain that we will not get the blessing of any Arab state to carry out such an attack both because it is a frightening precedent to set and because they are indignant over our complicity in Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. So any attack would damage our relations with the Arab world in general which seems like an awful thing to do right now.

shocking confession #x: You know, I only ever knew Safire's notorious On Language column, I never knew his deal (which is kinda weird), and I've (seen but) never read his editorials before today. In situations like this, I often turn to the hyper-catalog of knowledge that is From whence I get a brief bio and a spooky letter never sent. So, the background of the author explored, now how do I feel about the op-ed written by a former Nixon spin-meister & decorated commander of the English language? I feel spun. Again. And tired of it. It has been on my mind since 9/11 that we are like Risk tiles, with stars n' stripes on our backs to help keep score easy. We're like tops, too. Bleah. I have no witty or wise wrap-up to this, just leads me toward favoring personal isolationism from National politics. And wanting to get back to creating things.

UPDATE [4/12/02]

well now that I've read another of his columns it's clear that Saffire & I are on different planets (or at least different poles). But I do have to agree that the point about not having more active support of the Kurds seems a valid critique--at least in as much as they are an analog of the Northern Alliance. But then such analogies are the stuff of which persuasion (and manipulation) are made. How many new Hitlers have we had? Comparison is a powerful and imprecise method of communication. It can be used for great poetic effect, but in the communication of facts its... somewhat like a sieve. But not exactly.

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