21 December 2006
Iraq is a country worn down by religious and ethnic conflict, decades of rule by a brutal (US backed) dictator, several years of harsh (US imposed) sanctions, poverty and war (not to mention sixty centuries of violent history behind it all). We stuck our oily military-industrial tentacles into this stew and the result so far has been three thousand Americans dead, up to six hundred thousand Iraqis dead, and a heap of chaos so complex that no person sane, insane, genius or dimwit could wrap his head around it. It’s like that game Jenga where you take turns pulling blocks out of a tower until the whole thing falls down – the US invasion was the final block – and now there are dozens of groups trying to rebuild the country in their own image mostly from afar and often by destroying what the others have built.
There is no straight-forward answer to this problem; so many variables are involved that any proposed solution is going to have substantial flaws and will probably end up causing more harm than good. Like trying to calm a pool of water by pounding it with a sledge hammer, you can’t help but create more waves. The US may have some responsibility to help since we are largely to blame for their current situation, however, it is the Iraqi people who know best how to solve their problems (click here for more on that) and sooner or later we are going to have to get out of their way so they can do it. In other words we can offer assistance and support but not solutions. Ultimately, we will all have to accept the fact that we don’t know what’s best for Iraq and, despite all of our planning and analysis, things won’t end up the way we want.
14 December 2006
I know what most of you are thinking right now, “He’s sold out!” “He’s become a technophile!” “He’s not wearing any pants!” Well I have three things to say to that:
1) Why should I care what you think?
2) At least it isn’t a MySpace account, and
3) What I wear in my home is my god damn business thank you very much!
So why in god’s name have I started blogging? (it’s such an idiotic word, but I don’t have anything better at the moment)
Could it be to feed my mega-maniacal ego? Maybe.
Is it because I get a kick out of seeing my name in print? Probably.
But it’ll also give me a chance to spew the contents of my brain into a public forum and hopefully get some feedback. Jeremy's 32nd law: Mental meanderings without external feedback inevitably degenerate into schizophrenia, and I’m tired of being schizophrenic.
Additionally, I hope that it will help me bring together my diaspora of friends as I venture back home to Lawrence (and to all of you North-Easterners who've given me shit about that, I think my fellow Lawrencians will back me up when I say, you just can't understand until you've lived there!).
Now, I have no intention of boring you with the minutiae of my miserable existence. Also, I will not regurgitate easily accessible information, or the tired talking points of the mainstream media. I will try to be unique and offer you something to chew on – even if it is just gristle. I don’t care whether or not you like what I say – it’s my blog and I’ll use it how I god-damn please (within the prescribed boundaries set by blogspot, of course). However, I do care about what all of you think, so if you have some thoughtful input please post it. That said, here are the rules: First, no stupid pointless posts that don’t make any sense at all, we all know “Wu-Tang Rules!!” we don’t need to read it again and again and again; Second, no arguing, if you’re not willing to go three rounds of bare-knuckle boxing for it then it isn’t worth fighting over (will someone please tell me what movie that’s from!?); finally, please wear your pants at all times. There might be more later – you all know how authoritarian I can be – but that’s enough for now.
So…..Let The Blogging (really, we’ve got to get a better word for it) Begin!!!!!