Penguin Empire Mandate #1 - Look *Really* Cute
Penguin Empire Mandate #2 - Waddle Around
Penguin Empire Mandate #3 - FISHIES! FISHIES! FISHIES!
Anyone else notice how badly winter starts to suck, when you get no daylight at all? Right now, I can't tell if I am sick, or if the unrelenting bleakness has got me down for the count (One depressed blogger, Two Depressed bloggers...TWO Depressed bloggers, wAh! Ah! Ah!) With that out of my way, the post commenceth in earnest.
This may not be about Family Guy in the slightest, but the prospect of being the US in Iraq is about as attractive as that lecherous misogynist from said show. At any rate, Henry Kissinger has now admitted that victory in Iraq is impossible. Military victory, at any rate. Personally, I have my doubts that it was ever possible. Subjugation of a country with a culture different from that of the conqueror requires such heinous violations of the conquered, I'm not sure ol' Dubya has so little heart he could sign off on 'em. In World War 2, France, Holland, and the rest of mainland Europe could be liberated, because the rules of that war were intrinsic to our culture. We fought on our own terms, we treated prisoners with a modicum of respect. Iraq is a country in an unstable reason, where the rules of war are different. These are not our people, and it will never be believed 100% that we would indeed like them to be free, especially considering we espouse a different definition of what "free" is. I have my reservations about Islamic government, but I can tell you that Western democracy will always be particular to the west, at least for the near future. It requires our experiences, our preconceptions to appreciate, just as Islamic law requires theirs. This is not to say that one is superior, or that one precludes the other entirely. What I will say is that it is a delusion at best that Iraqis will simply take it as read that we have found the ideal system. Moreover, we HAVEN'T. People are still poor, people still suffer, and politicians still lie to get elected. We still fight wars, and when we aren't fighting wars, we fight ideological battles, placing the freedoms we value so dearly at the stake.
That's just the philosophical side of things, mind you. Practically, you can't fight a whack-a-mole war. Why? In the game, do the moles have Rocket-Propelled Grenades? Right, now...they do. Still think this game is fun? Whacko. Insurgents know the terrain, they know the population, and as much as the US can have good intentions, it's impossible to argue that they are not a foreign occupation. No one is happy being told that they must be shown the way, have their hand held on the path to enlightenment. People choose to seek it of their own accord. Iraq and Afghanistan's leaders know that the US and NATO (respectively) are essential in those countries, and ask for the support they will need to help their countries. But the population sees bombs, and civilian dead. Frustrated soldiers are not going to have clear heads, but the insurgents will be able to hunt them coldly, drive them to lash out against the nearest villager who looks the least bit suspicious. Maybe it is a terrorist who gets killed, but then, they look JUST LIKE THE REST, so it becomes impossible to tell. Even the agreeable guys probably have an AK or two lying around...there IS NO EASY WAY TO TELL FRIEND FROM FOE. In the end, the best and worse intentions for Iraq will come to naught, and civil war will drown all in rivers of neighbourly bloodshed. That is, unless someone finds a peace pipe big enough.
But then, we all know what happened to the proud people of peace pipes...
we knew what was "best for them", too.
I saw 'Casino Royale' on Friday. It was excellent, and Daniel Craig is now BOND-ed to my concept of the improbably un-secret agent (ha. ha.). A real review will happen later. Until then, I'll give you the short version:
Go see 'Casino Royale'. It will both shake AND stir you. Mostly, you'll wonder why you even wasted money (well, I didn't) to see the previous one. In conclusion, I will give you the answer I gave a friend when she asked "why is everyone talking about that movie?"
"''Cause it's actually a movie", I replied.
This concludes today's presentation. There will now be a short quiz...