Monday, March 17, 2003

Even if the Bushies are right, they are still wrong

John Scalzi's take on what has gone wrong is refreshingly different and, I think, right on the point.
If Bush and his people had the slightest bit of competence in dealing with the rest of the world -- competence that should have begun on January 20, 2001, not just in the last six months or so -- this war would already be over. There would have been no real dissent in the Security Council, no ability for Saddam to play other countries against us, less time for the "no war ever under any circumstances, ever" crowd to build up its head of steam, and we'd have had international support for a war that would be both useful and had the potential to eventually be a humane action. Saddam would probably already be dead (or rotting in a dinky little cell, which I would prefer) and the UN instead of the US would be stuck with keeping the various hate-filled factions within Iraq from gleefully murdering each other. We would have gotten what we wanted, and we would have made it look like a team effort. Then everybody could have had their Coke and gone home. Instead, we have a war which we will win, but at the cost of wrecking much of the apparatus which allowed the United States to wield absolute power under conditions that even our enemies could tolerate. This is why Bush and his people are incompetent. They think they've done us all a favor by showing us that the international game was rigged by the house, but all they managed to accomplish is to make the rest of the world vaguely embarrassed that they don't seem to understand they own the casino. That's a good way to drive away the business. Who knows where that business will land from here.
In other words, pretty much all the criticisms that the Bushies have levelled at the UN are true. But it worked. And if these yahoos had the least bit of competence they would know how to make it work for them. Instead they think it is some great accomplishment to kick the legs out from under the UN and yell that it was rotten to begin with, without realizing that the UN was one of the pillars that our entire foreign policy was resting on. Smooth move guys.


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