September 04, 2004

Faulty Pattern Recognition

Did you know that the Americans expect to be in Iraq for at least 10 to 20 years? The extracts below are from an op-ed piece in the New York Times:

When asked this week on CNN how long the U.S. military is likely to remain in Iraq, Senator John McCain replied "probably" 10 or 20 years. "That's not so bad," he said, adding, "We've been in Korea for 50 years. We've been in West Germany for 50 years."

That's not the understanding most Americans had when this wretched war was sold to them, and it's not the view most Americans hold now.

If Senator McCain is correct (and the belief in official Washington is that he is), then boys and girls who are 5 or 10 years old now will get their chance in 2015 or 2020 to strap on the Kevlar and engage the Iraqi "insurgents" who, like the indigenous forces we fought in Vietnam, will never accept the occupation of their country by America.

It's just so sad. I'm reading a book on Saddam Hussein at the moment so I will be writing more on the topic I'm sure. But the agony of watching this unfold and being so utterly powerless to change it... where is the gentleness that people display as individuals? Why does the collective intelligence of a mob seem to subtract 5 IQ points per participant?

You can see why people want to believe in a god, in a plan, in some sort of sense in the chaos of life. Just like the Americans want to believe in their President, in their army, in the rightness and justice of their actions, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Posted by phreq at September 4, 2004 09:37 AM | TrackBack

Unfortunately, it has become all too easy for the few to prey upon the fears of the many using the power of mass-media. The inherent 'good' or 'evil' of man is a topic I have been mulling over for some time now. As you allude, the analysis of such questions can be very troubling and always full of contradiction...Unless we think about the things that motivate us as humans, how can we ever change?

Posted by: Numpty at September 4, 2004 04:51 PM

Hey, you haven't posted for a while. How are things going?

Posted by: giffy at September 10, 2004 10:39 AM

Me hadad the phlew :( poor phreqy :(

I'm much better now though, so don't waste too much retrospective sympathy ;)

Posted by: phreq at September 10, 2004 11:11 AM


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