Take It As Red

"Blogging is, by its very nature, erratic and irregular, feverish effort punctuated by random silence, a conundrum wrapped in a contradiction wrapped in a mystery wrapped in an unclosed em tag. " - The Poor Man

Thursday, February 17


Not Optimistic At All

Margie Burns, commenting on Atrios yesterday, notes that military nurses are quietly having their tours extended and being sent to Iraq.

"The more sinister possibility is that this is one early warning sign of some new deviltry planned for Iraq by the White House. The quietness and abruptness of the move do not inspire confidence, though admittedly the quietness and abruptness could be a political response to a worsening combat situation that the White House will not acknowledge."

In the light of the aggressive noises being made against Syria for allegedly blowing up Lebanon's former prime minister (why would they destabilise their own client state? That little escapade has Rumsfeld's private army's sticky fingerprints all over it), and the openly aggressive posture Condisleeza has been taking towards Iran, who can doubt there is more combat on the horizon?

Christ, these neocons are dumb. Every single time they get caught out at home ( like rentboys in the WH, say, or being caught out lying, again) they think they can pull the old bait and switch by starting wars abroad. "Look! Over there! Terrorists! Axes of Evil!" Unfortunately it's real people that die, and real civilisations that are decimated.

Last night on BBC2 Adam Hart-Davies hosted a programme called 'What the Ancients Taught Us'. This episode showed how the Arab and Islamic world virtually invented modern scientific method, not to mention maths, astronomy and chemistry. The breadth and sophistication of the Arabian empire spread from Western Europe to China, before the Greeks, before the Romans, before the Enlightenment. We in the west like to think we are the civilised nations. We have nothing on the Arabs. If it had not been for a few lucky breaks ( there you go, Jared Diamond's whole thesis in one handy phrase) the industrial revolution might well have happened in Baghdad or Constantinople, not Manchester.

Aside from the individual deaths this is a civilisational war, just like the crusades, and we westerners were the barbarians in that too. The crusades led to the dark ages, and a general retreat from knowledge and the collapse of western civilsation for a long time. The crusaders at least had the excuse of religious fervour and general ignorance, but by destroying ancient civilisations like those of Iraq and Iran now the neocons are doubly culpable, in that they know what they are doing but they just don't care. A few military nurses, or dead children, or thousand year old seats of learning, they're just minor inconveniences in the quest for christian dominion. What do thousands of years of learning matter when you know, for certain sure in your heart of hearts because God says so, that the earth was made in 6 days and white men are the pinnacle of creation?

I think it's inevitable, barring miracles or some sudden plague that only affects wingnuts, that we will see the whole of the Middle East in flames soon. What happens then is anyone's guess. Let's just say I'm not optimistic.



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