the talking dog

August 14, 2004, Playing without a full deck

This week's visit to Pravda gives us this analysis of the problems associated with capturing or killing Iraqi insurgent cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

In a nutshell, its simply that Sadr's militia is itself a movement-- it is not synonimous with Sadr, and if Sadr is knocked off, he will simply become a martyr, and someone else will become the poster boy for Shia resistance to an occupation widely perceived as mishandled, if not disastrous. And, as I have pointed out, any small value associated with knocking off or capturing Sadr himself would be utterly meaningless compared to significant damage to the Shrine of Imam Ali (the burial place of Mohammed's son in law), which could piss off Shiites from Lebanon to Pakistan... forever.

I have seen other discussions of why, given the disparity in how American forces respond to Shiite resistance (nastily) versus Sunni (less nastily-- even though the Sunnis are often inflicting more casualties), and needless to say, in a locale like Najaf where there is still evidence of the vicious Baathist response to the Shia uprising in the early 90's "encouraged" and then abandoned to their fate by Poppy Bush, our actions just cannot be invoking warm and fuzzy feelings.

Once again-- just as our Al Qaeda strategy involves doing something that a stupid, rigid person would do-- i.e. checking names off of a list of playing cards-- more or less the same strategy we adopted in Iraq, rather than taking on root causes and fundamental enemy infrastructure and ideology and building countervailing networks and allies-- we are doomed to the same results, I fear, of simply knocking down weeds while the seeds and roots remain (with added fertilizer thanks to us).

Is this a failure of imagination? Yes. A failure of execution? Yes. A failure of intelligence? Yes. But then look who is running our country: there is nothing in George W. Bush's world that he has actually succeeded in (with the exception of successfully being his father's eldest son and therefore in a position to reap the rewards of primogeniture)-- except failure. Even the apparently successful routs of the Taliban and the Baathists appear to be, thanks to the aforementioned failures of imagination, execution and intelligence, simply to have replaced one set of more organized evils with the evils of anarchic failed states-- but at the cost of thousands of dead and hundreds of billions of dollars spent.

The good news is that I think he will add one more failure to his list: failure to win reelection. Otherwise, the United States electorate will make it clear that they like failure as much as their leader-- no, they love it. And I don't think that's even remotely true.

And now back to your regularl scheduled meltdown.

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Hello, my name is Jim.
I'm a gay man addicted to marriage.
It's been several years since my last marriage, but I'm taking things one day at time.
Boy, do I feel better.

Posted by Citizen Jim McGreevey at August 14, 2004 02:56 PM

I'm quite concerned about the discussion about the propriety of my decision to resign as of 11/15/04. Accordingly, I've decided to launch a listening tour to hear from the people.
Tonight, from 11-2, I will be at the Exit 15 rest stop of the New Jersey Turnpike, men's room, third stall.
Look forward to seeing you. Future dates to be announced on this site.

Posted by Citizen Jim McGreevey at August 14, 2004 04:13 PM

I have done even more soul searching in the last several hours. I think its called soul searching cause its a new experience for me. I have decided that I am only slightly gay.

Sure, my life to date has been the stereotypical closeted one. Man with political ambitions and homosexual bent marries twice, has children, ends up Democratic governor of a Northeastern state, and pursues male foreign national for clandestine hijinx. Should have known what was coming since high school. Textbook case really.

Therefore, it is not improper for me to stay on until November. However, I still plan to embark upon my listening tour.

Posted by Slightly Gay Citizen Jim McGreevey at August 14, 2004 08:11 PM

I'm not sure that I can make it to your listening tour. I caught the George Michael listening tour a few years ago at the Rahway Rest Stop and was a little disappointed. All of his talk of taking matters into your own hands. He was more than a little self serving, if you ask me. I hope your tour goes well, but, I have to admit, this whole thing has been really Machiavellian.

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