So I resolved not to make anything approaching a New Year’s resolution. My reason? I think it stupid to do something just to fall in line with custom and out of a ‘fresh burst’ feeling-of-the-moment. I haven’t had great success with realizing those I made in previous years, so I will devise plans as and when I deem them appropriate. My power to will works best when it follows my will-to-power, after all……
Saddam’s execution provoked a myriad of thoughts. I find it extremely fitting the fucker got tried and executed under the rules he made, by the people he oppressed. At the same time, I can’t say that it brought me anything approaching pleasure to hear of it – in fact I think of the whole execution as a token gesture that fell somewhat flat. Iraq still swims in his own shit with no sign of sanitation, and Bush sending more troops just strikes me as – similarly pointless. It would please me to see a withdrawal, gradual or not, taking place sometime this year – I guess time will lay forth the answer there, one way or another…..
Walking home from work earlier, I remembered summat someone said to me years ago along the lines of: "You should work five-days-a week. You’re still young in body so …."
I can’t remember the exact wording, but that sums it up purdy well.
Today I wondered if the residue of Ressentiment lingers in sentiments such as those – and a very velvet-gloved form of Ressentiment at that…
…..a desire, on that person’s part, to see the youth worked out of my mortal frame.
It isn’t unlike some (comparatively) poor person saying: "Bill Gates is stinking rich – he should give a chunk of his cash to charity – he doesn’t need all of it, surely?"
It comes from the same pool of thought as Doc Ock saying in Spider Man 2: "Intelligence isn’t a privilege its a gift; it should be used for the good of mankind."
From each according to ability, to each according to decree…..
“Poor and free rather than rich and enslaved. Of course, men want to be both rich and free, and this is what leads them at times to be poor and enslaved.” — Albert Camus
“‘Work to exhaustion when you’re young.’ Have you ever heard of a strange saying like this? You like to work hard like your mother, but I don’t think it’s good to work too hard. *CLICK*” — Dad, Earthbound(SNES)
I definitely subscribe to the belief that I’ve got better things to do with my youth than get old before my time making someone else rich. I’ll spend my remaining youth how I want, just like I spent my childhood as I liked (As it turns out, there are no negative repercussions for completely ignoring and neglecting school, no matter what they tell you) and I’ll do the same with the rest of my life.
“Work smarter, not harder.” -Scrooge McDuck
Thanks, I was looking for a relevant quote from a cartoon character, actually, but didn’t know any off the top of my head.
i feel similarly about the saddam/iraq thing. any symbolic improvement is linked in my mind with unavoidable cynicism because the whole situation is just crappy…but’s to be expected, considering the horrible mis-management of the whole thing.
I don’t think it’s mis-management so much as biting off more than they could chew. They had a good plan but it didn’t work out, they didn’t count on religious and ethnic divisions being as great as they turned out to be. It was a miscalculation more than a stupidity.
i think it’s all those things and more. but i do think that the bush administration created an air of mis-management because of their tendency to ignore and even reward obvious incompetency.
and there’s a difference between stupidity and just being wrong in one’s plans, and i agree that stupidity is not an accurate term.
I don’t think it rewards incompetency. The only incompetent member of the administration that I remember was that FEMA guy — and he was fired after his incompetency became clear. I think it’s as good a meritocracy as the White House has ever had (which isn’t saying much, but it’s been a lot worse).
But more specifically, what could they have done that they didn’t do to ensure victory in Iraq? I can’t think of much. Perhaps they should have used more propaganda than they did to form an Iraqi identity rather than their ethnic group identities, but that’s all I can think of.
i seem to remember people who screwed up getting medals, which at least gives the -appearance- of rewarding incompetency.
and yah, that FEMA thing was pretty bad too…
and actually i kind of agree with you that it’s difficult with my limited knowledge and experience in country-invading matters to say what exactly could have been done better.
but i do think that it would have helped if they hadn’t been so, er, disingenuous about the reasons for the invasion, and quicker to admit that we were having serious problems there instead of spending a lot of time and money acting like everything was okay and no one was messing up.
and as i recall, the reports that came out of iraq were saying that there was a serious failure in communication between the bush administration and the military, and that for a time, members of the CIA and homeland security were claiming that they were rewarded for passing on information that supported the Bush administration’s plans and that if they reported information that conflicted with those plans they had reason to believe that they would never receive promotions.
No country is ever honest about their reasons for invading another country though. It doesn’t make sense to be. Imagine if Bush or Condi or someone had just made a press announcement saying something like: “The reason to invade Iraq is to sandwich Iran in between two countries friendly to us: Afghanistan and Iraq — so that we can eventually take over Iran, cut off oil to China (which gets most of its oil from Iran), and prevent them from becoming a world superpower, as they are the only real threat to us in the world.”
And, I wouldn’t trust reports about failures of communication and rewards for good information and so on, there’s a lot of political motivation behind things like that, so I take note of those the same way I take note of reports like “Bush says he’d continue fighting in Iraq even if only his dog agreed with him!” Very little information about anyone famous is reliable, because there’s a lot of motivation to say anything outrageous about them, just to make headlines and sell newspapers. Think about all those tabloid stories about celebrities, some of them might be true, but how can we know?
Still, the “shoot the messenger” effect does exist, but it exists in any administration. Imagine someone in Clinton’s administration delivering a report to him about gun control increasing crime, or about universal health care decreasing a country’s lifespan — would that person have been promoted? It’s not a good thing, but there’s little way around it, people don’t like bad news, and they don’t like people who tell them bad news, even if those people aren’t responsible for the news.
i’m not sure i agree with you, but i don’t see much good coming out of pursuing it because for one thing, from here on out, anything i’d argue would be shaky…i’m not very good with dates and names when it comes to iraq so it wouldn’t come across very lucid if i tried to talk about all the failures that happened there.
but i will say this: one of the main reasons we were told that america needed to invade iraq was because of the weapons of mass destruction, and when time came to lay out the invasion plan, there were nothing included about handling these supposed weapons sites.
that’s kind of a big lie. there were plenty of good reasons to invade iraq, but the whole set up and circumstance provided by the bush administration were ridiculous. i do think that their obvious dishonestly undermined the meritocracy of the iraq stiuation.
but as i said, i think that there probably isn’t too much more to be necessarily accomplished by us discussing it here, because it seems that we see a major difference between what sources of information about the war/administration are trustworthy,
and it would be hard to compare facts, much less opinions if that’s the case.
none the less it has, again, been a pleasure rinku. 🙂
I think lies are becoming less effective nowadays, at least in the West. That’s one advantage countries without a free press have over countries with a free press: they can lie to their people and nobody will ever figure it out, and even if they did they can’t talk about it. That provides a lot of flexibility to the government, such much so that I’m actually betting on China’s victory over the West for the 21st century (literally betting with someone).
It has, I don’t comment unless it’s fun.
i love disagreeing when it is so amiable! ^_-
and you’ve given me something to think about with the whole iraq > iran > china thing, so i’ll be looking into that. at the very least, it sounds interesting.
and i too have been telling people that china will win out over the west eventually; comparing america to the ottoman empire XD
I stand skeptical concerning the desirability of China overpowering the US. As fucked-up as Judeo-Christian nationalist democracy can be, I feel ever the more apprehensive of Confucio-Communist nationalist governance spreading beyond its current borders.
Dangerous and exciting times…..
it’s kind of a silly thought, i know. it’s more like an interesting fantasty/idea i had about the U.S.A. becoming the ottoman empire and a modern version of 1914 having…i can be sort of a history dork.
and i don’t really like the chinese either, but i like i said, it was sort of a fun thought to entertain, and i love people’s horrified responses when i tell them the U.S. is on it’s way out!
Do you have a deadline for this bet, just out of curiosity?
“The reason to invade Iraq is to sandwich Iran in between two countries friendly to us: Afghanistan and Iraq — so that we can eventually take over Iran, cut off oil to China (which gets most of its oil from Iran), and prevent them from becoming a world superpower, as they are the only real threat to us in the world.”
Plausible, more so than anything else I’ve heard concerning the whole sorry spectacle.
One minute The Powers That Be want in on Iraq because of “evidence of WMDs”; the next I hear talk of Saddam’s atrocities toward the poor, oppressed Iraqi people (granted, these proved considerable) and our “moral duty” (can we say Kantian?) to liberate them at any cost.
Of course, it all smells so much like bullshit for the parroting populace to feast on as much, playing the same role as the anti-war alternative of “all about oil”.
But of course one could call it Governance 101 – slavish reasons garner slavish minds….
The Bush Administration actually does have quite a few extremely able persons, unfortunately the President is not one of them. The decision to enter Iraq in the first place seems dubious. I have to ask..what did the US gain by forcing its way into Iraq? I don’t know how well known it is worldwide, but a huge percentage of US forces in Iraq have been from the National Guard, which is a sort of part time military deal with an emphasis on dealing with problems in individual states…each state has its own Guard force which can be mobilized in times of local duress..natural disasters….rioting…terrorism, etc. This, along with a commitment of serving a few weeks per year. Lately, however, these Guardsmen have been getting a lot more than most of them probably bargained for, with long tours of duty in Iraq! This happened because the US military is stretched too thin to rely entirely on its full-time units. All this to a frequent chorus of “we don’t need a draft at all we don’t need a draft at all”
People can be amazingly crude in their statements..saying extremely rude things as was said to you about how much you should be working. Sometimes I just laugh and shake my head…what if I walked up to some random dude and told him how to live his life? I’m sure he’d love that! Yet some people find ways to do that as much as possible and consider it civil. I see it as a slap in the face, like a person is saying “I’m gonna decide for you, foo!”. If a person says it is their opinion and gives reasons for it, I am all ears. I definately would prefer to work my ass off after I’m already rolling down the other side of the hill. It can be hard to swing that sort of life, but if I could pick and choose, bingo.
What the US had to gain from invading Iraq is actually kind of hard to figure out if you don’t consider the world system as a whole. In an above comment I wrote:
Imagine if Bush or Condi or someone had just made a press announcement saying something like: “The reason to invade Iraq is to sandwich Iran in between two countries friendly to us: Afghanistan and Iraq — so that we can eventually take over Iran, cut off oil to China (which gets most of its oil from Iran), and prevent them from becoming a world superpower, as they are the only real threat to us in the world.”
That is exactly what I believe their goal is. The war on Iraq is actually a war Iran, which is actually a war on China. The entire war on terrorism was an invention intended, in the long-term, to prevent China from replacing the US as a superpower.
If there are “good” reasons, such as those, then it is more intelligible and I might even support it. Really. I am rather ignorant about all these details though, so it’s refreshing to be enlightened about the complexities of the situation.
What you’ve described is very intricate and chess-like maneuvering. I don’t know enough about the situation to confidently assert one way or the other. I’m still growing out of my naivete, too.
Do you then think a draft is a good idea?
I agree with the second thought the second though, offering (generally solicited) advice, not issuing imperatives, proves the best way of getting through to me or at least getting me to listen…..
Personally I would not want a draft. Foremost because I’m prime drafting material!
I meant to say that current policy is stretching the forces to the limit while claiming that a draft is absolutely unnecessary. I find that fact and that claim to be combustible, provided the right catalyst.