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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

 
Cheney the fatuous vampire

by digby

I'm sure you recall that the Bush administration used to say that the violence in Iraq after the invasion was the "birth pangs" of democracy all over the Middle East. Well, it looks like Dick Cheney thinks the head is crowning:

KILMEADE: Is it a reach to say Libya’s unrest…all has a lot to do with what happened in Iraq? Letting those people, seeing those people vote, and the Arab community seeing what’s going on?

CHENEY: Well, I think there may be some of that going on. [...] But I think that what happened in Iraq, the fact that we brought democracy, if you will, and freedom to Iraq, has had a ripple effect on some of those other countries.


This couldn't be a more fatuous explanation. First, it's belied by the facts, which you can read all about here. But the bigger problem is that one can say this about virtually everything. (Sure, "it will all work out in the long run --- but in the long run we'll all be dead")

The Bush administration and their Iraq apologists made an absolute fetish out of this nonsense, mainly because they fucked up everything they touched so royally that they had no other way to explain themselves. I recalled this one recently, but it's worth recounting again as Cheney does his Mission Accomplished Tour:

David Ignatius from last week called Iraq Can Survive This ... makes the increasingly common rightist argument that someday things will probably work out in Iraq so everything we did will have been right in retrospect:

Pessimists increasingly argue that Iraq may be going the way of Lebanon in the 1970s. I hope that isn't so, and that Iraq avoids civil war. But people should realize that even Lebanonization wouldn't be the end of the story. The Lebanese turned to sectarian militias when their army and police couldn't provide security. But through more than 15 years of civil war, Lebanon continued to have a president, a prime minister, a parliament and an army. The country was on ice, in effect, while the sectarian battles raged. The national identity survived, and it came roaring back this spring in the Cedar Revolution that drove out Syrian troops.


Similar logic would have one believe that because Czechoslovakia is now a thriving democracy, the invasion of Hitler in 1938 was all for the best. And hey what's 30 years of human suffering? Eventually things will probably get better --- as long as the "national identity" survives. Dear God.

This argument reveals something very fundamental about the way that the hawks see war as a game of Risk rather than a catastrophic upheaval in which actual human beings are being killed and maimed and in which the everyday lives of those who live on that piece of land are affected in the most consequential ways possible. Who but the most arrogant, spoiled,pampered, elitist American could write such a thing?


Dick Cheney obviously fits that bill.


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