The first significant split I had with my brother happened over Iraq. That’s because he was struck with temporary moronity propagated by Fox News that trickled down to all of the other media outlets by what I suspect was a small evil group of psy-ops specialists.
It’s hard to be the only scientist in the family. I’m sure I sounded like some unpleasant klaxon harshing the “let’s go kick some Haji ass!” mellow. Everyone in America seemed to be on the same team. There was no talking to them. There was no proof that there were WMDs in the desert. There was no evidence for a nuclear weapons industry. And you could be damn sure that if there was oil to be had there, it was going to be hoarded by the companies who went in there to get it. That last one was a particularly difficult concept to get across. They just didn’t understand WHY you would want to withhold oil from the global market. It just sounded crazy.
So, now Iraq is falling apart and Obama wants to sit on the sidelines and let it happen. In a way, that’s understandable. It wasn’t his war. He didn’t start it. Also, he supposedly gave a speech about it that no one can find a record of. And there’s that Nobel he needs to live up to.
But part of the responsibilities of being the leader of the free world is having to do some pretty unpleasant things. I never thought that the president that took over from Bush in 2008 was going to be able to walk out of Iraq on the first day. You don’t have to be a “war monger” to realize that stabilizing a country that has been deliberately de-stabilized by a bunch of ideological and greedy nut cases is a top priority.
But I get the feeling that the Obama campaign never got over its campaign mindset. It’s been all about being the fricking cock-on-the-walk and controlling the foreign policy to the point of strangulation lest a political rival look good. What followed was not a serious commitment to responsible behavior but a couple of announcements that the war was over even though the country is still a chaotic mess. I’m as disappointed with some of the pacifism at all costs people on the left as I am with the haji-kickers on the right. Getting out of Iraq was never going to be easy and not laying the ground work for doing so carefully is going to hurt all of us.
For one thing, we can all expect gas prices to spike now. Yep, it’s going to happen. And if we are on a saddle point of plunging back into recession, this is certainly going to help that along. When oil spikes, everything gets more expensive. Poorer people are already wondering where they’re going to get the money to feed their kids. Imagine how that’s going to go when the already high cost of food goes even higher. How do you get to work? What’s going to happen to the industries that rely on tourism?
But that’s a little selfish whining from some first world citizen, right? I mean, how would you like to be a Kurd watching as the US prepares to screw you over again 30 years later? Or any Iraqi really who lived through the last 10 years? And if there weren’t religious extremists in the country 10 years ago, there sure are now because there is nothing that will create dangerous extremism better than instability and economic hardship.
There’s a warning there for Americans but we’ll probably be too distracted and hypnotized to realize what it is before it’s too late.