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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

coffee and papers « Previous | |Next »
April 22, 2004

I have the warm autumn day to myself so I decided to have morning coffee at the lawyer's coffee place and glance through Murdoch's Weekly Standard to see how the war had been going of late. I'd been a bit too focused on Australia and it was time to adopt an international perspective and catch up with the good news about the progress being made in Iraq.

You know the progress story: improving the free market economy, getting the electricity flowing, the roads built, the hospitals and schools running, and ensuring peaceful cooperation among Shiite, Sunni, and Kurds leaders. We are all familar with the Weekly Standard line ---nay Murdoch line--- about how a large majority of Iraqis say their future is promising, reject political violence, and support an ongoing American presence. The Weekly message is: Iraq remains relatively peaceful. Important progress continues to be made.

Whilst waiting for my long black and plain biscuit I eagerly turned the pages of the Weekly Standard for my hope fix; only to find this. The tone has changed. It is now realized that there has been:

"...failures in planning and in execution, failures that have been evident for most of the last year. Serious errors have been made--and made, above all, by Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon. The recent violence in Iraq has confirmed that the level of American military forces has been too low to accomplish the president's mission ever since the invasion phase of the war ended last April."

Goodness me. There are too few troops to ensure success in the democratic flowering within Iraq. More troops are needed. Surely the neo-con's Iraqi venture is not floundering? Does not Iraq represent a direct American occupation of a Muslim nation and so help to recruit new young Jihadists unknown to western intelligence agencies?

My coffee came and I breathed in the aroma. It mingled with the irony of democracy coming from the barrel of a gun. Then I recalled seeing this. Progress is being made, though the Iranians are a problem, as is the lack of security over Iraq’s borders. But Ahmed Chalabi is such a whizz.

So why more troops? What could possibly have gone wrong? And so quickly too. I turned the pages of the Weekly Standard. Aaah. This tells us why. The Arab TV network's coverage of the Coalition is influencing opinion in Iraq. It's the bad Arab media. The irresponsible and hostile Arab media (al Jazeera and al Arabiya) are stirring things up amongst Iraqi's.

Bill Leak

Clearly these troublesome media guys needed to sorted by the military, Rumsfeld and the Defence Department, if the imperial president is to be re-elected.

For those who prefer Abu Aardvark has some good things to say on the Washington view and the lousy journalism. And for those who want something other than the Washington feed to the chooks there is Paul McGeough's judgements about the way US strategy and tactics is making things worse in Iraq.

I've finished my coffee. Time to move along and do some more work on the empire and anxiety post. I still had to do something about my weekly hope fix though. It is no use reading John Howard's speeches for moral uplift these days.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:12 PM | | Comments (4)


Kristol's been baying for more troops for many months Gary. Mad as a loon, but there you go.

Well, there you go.It shows the importance of history.And to think that our univeritires are dumping that fine discipline in favour of biotech and accountancy.

I have only been able to have a free day for coffee and a glance through the Weekly Standard these last two weeks.

I cannot bring myself to read the back issues. So I'll take your word for Kristol's history of baying for the White House hawks.

Check this one out Gary, from October last year, when the marriage began to show the first signs of the present split.

I remember your post and the article.

I recall that I was suprised at the time by Kristol's criticisms of the imperial presidency.

It suprised me because I thought the big faultline were between the paleo and the neo conservatives.

This was a falling out within the neo-con camp.

But calling for more troops isn't a furthering of the falling out is it?

The imperial president needs to clean up Iraq quick:what better way than give the military more firepower to wipe out the Iraqi opposition to the US occupation?