The Early Days of a Better Nation

Sunday, November 02, 2003

The Postmodern Condition

We all know the wise saws about the role of intended and unintended consequences in human affairs. 'Cock-up, not conspiracy'. 'Never attribute to malice what can be accounted for by stupidity'. On the other hand, 'Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action'.

If you assume (as many, including opponents and critics of the war, have done) that the intended consequence of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq is a reasonably stable country, not perhaps a light unto the nations but at peace with itself and I/s/r/a/e/l its neighbours, or even that it's a puppet state made safe for Haliburton, Bechtel and other warm friends of the Reptilian Party, you have a certain amount of cognitive dissonance to overcome. You have to repeatedly ask yourself 'What were they thinking?'

What were they thinking when:

They at best condoned and at worst encouraged looting, including of sites highly relevant to the supposed search for WMD?

They disbanded the entire Iraqi army?

They froze Iraqi contractors, workers and engineers out of the reconstruction?

They announced the intention of dismantling the state rationing system?

They asked the Turkish state to send in troops?

And, the latest, they announced the intention of giving the Iraqi economy a jolt of Russia-style shock therapy?

None of these seem calculated to advance any kind of stability in Iraq. It's always possible that some combination of ideological intransigience, intelligence failures, and bureaucratic infighting could be the explanation.

But what if a stable Iraq (under any circumstances) is not the goal? What if, instead, the goal is the reduction of Iraq to a similar condition of postmodernity to that of sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, and much of the former Soviet Union?

In that case, every one of the above actions makes perfect sense.

Admittedly, the goal itself seems a tad irrational. On the other hand, from the Reptilian point of view much of the human population may be surplus to requirements, so perhaps not.


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