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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|I have written before about the obvious and foreseeable consequences of losing the War in Iraq--and I'm not talking about the military engagement. I'm talking about the Battle of Ideas back in Washington and elsewhere--though, certainly, parts of the military effort have been bungled.. |
And I've also laid the blame for losing that battle right at the feet of the White House, which recognized WAY too late that the miltary portion was, at most, only half the battle, and that our public relations enemy was even more skilled than our military enemy.
But now I'm beginning, I think, to understand the real danger to the world, not just to America or to Iraq, of losing the War.
Consider the following (via The Corner):
ZIMBABWE’S leading cleric has called on Britain to invade the country and topple President Robert Mugabe. Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, warned that millions were facing death from famine, unable to survive amid inflation believed to have soared to 15,000%.
Mugabe, 83, had proved intransigent despite the “massive risk to life”, said Ncube, the head of Zimbabwe’s 1m Catholics. “I think it is justified for Britain to raid Zimbabwe and remove Mugabe,” he said. “We should do it ourselves but there’s too much fear. I’m ready to lead the people, guns blazing, but the people are not ready.”
Some parts of Zimbabwe have seen 95% of crops fail, leaving families with only two or three weeks’ food supply to last a year. Prices in the shops are more than doubling every week and Christopher Dell, the American ambassador, predicts that by the end of the year inflation could hit 1.5m%.
Ncube said that far from helping those struggling on less than £1 a week, Mugabe had just spent £1m on surveillance equipment to monitor phone calls and e-mails. “How can you expect people to rise up when even our church services are attended by state intelligence people?
Can you imagine the howls of laughter/scorn/outrage that would ensue should either Gordon Brown (that's actually funny all by itself) or George W. Bush take the Bishop's advice and announce an intervention in Zimbabwe? Or even just a smaller--and, arguably, more justifiable--intervention in Darfur? The very thought of it is laughable, if it weren't so sad.
We've fallen a fair distance, indeed, from that day not all that long ago when Mohammar Qhadafi gave up his chemical weapons program simply because he was afraid of sharing Saddam's fate. And does anybody still remember that in the immediate aftermath of dragging Saddam out of his spider hole Iran announced that was going to allow inspectors back in to its nuclear sites?
The problem with appearing weak isn't just the lack of credibility you have with the rest of the world--it's the blow to the national psyche which robs you of the confidence to act with any initiative at all.
I'm not necessarily advocating massive interventions all over the world to fix the world's problems (though, certainly, there are those that would fall within this doctrine).
I'm just saying that it's sad, pathetic, and maybe criminally negligent that our self-inflicted difficulties in Iraq have made it impossible to act, even if we concluded that it was the right and necessary thing to do.
It's bad when your own weakness paralyzes you into cooperation with evil.
NO, I AM NOT joining Sen. Domenici, et al. in declaring defeat. In point of fact, this seems to provide statistical evidence that things are getting better, and this provides anecdotal evience that things are getting better.
I suppose what I'm saying is twofold: the PR battle is on life support right now, and is losing support all the time--somebody needs to step up to the plate and win an argument; and, second:
Gen. Patreus--hurry. Not to rush you or anything, but, you know . . . hurry.