Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

What's that sound? Oh, it's a resounding silence, that's what.

I'm not ashamed to say I've been a liberal of some sort all my adult life. I've done the Marxist route, the anarchist thing and now I'd say I still refer to myself as a leftist, but what I feel is most important is that I'm on no one's side. Hell, sometimes I'm pretty damned apolitical. All this, but I've never felt I was anywhere right-of-center.

But this Iraq election is something else. What are liberals saying? Well, other than nothing, I think there may be some soul-searching going on right now. Jon Stewart certainly was doing his share. He was saying that maybe he was wrong for 2.5 years of this war. Maybe war IS the answer? It's such a liberal cliche that "war doesn't accomplish anything" that it's become dogma. But doesn't it? I mean, I found myself thinking, "What could be wrong with this election?" This is the way liberals are trained to think: to be pessimistic about everything. Liberalism generally is synonomous with negativity. Optimism is solidly in the right's corner.

Anyway, back to the Iraq war. If this election stabilizes Iraq, there's no doubt we'll see decades and decades of right-wing administrations from here on out. This follows right in line with what people say about Reagan: he fought the USSR with nuclear build-up because he knew they were morally reprehensible. This, despite all the liberal naysaying about how the US should coddle the Soviet Union. He's the underdog who came out ahead. And now it looks like that's what's happening with Bush. Everyone was against him---media especially---but the true Americans stuck by his side and democracy prevailed in the end. But, you say, all those people died. Wouldn't people have died anyway if Saddam had stayed in power for another decade?

Hopefully the Iraq election will fail and the country will be plunged into civil war when we pull the troops out. Then us liberals can go on feeling smug, right? And if so, maybe Hilary will win in 2008.

I like your style, B.
Liberalism isn't synonymous with pessimism or negativity, L.B. In fact, it's usually what we call "liberals" that believe the Marxist idea that anyone can do anything and if you don't think they can you're a racist/sexist/whateves. This neocon war is only nominally coming from the right; it's actually another Marxist attempt at denying human nature and limitations. As such, it's likely to fail. I haven't seen anything to make me think otherwise, the meaningless election notwithstanding. It takes a whole lot more to keep a democracy sustained that participating in one foreign-instituted election.

On this one, the pessimists are correct.
I had a professor who always said that most people who critisize Marx have never read him.

Anyway, I'd hardly call the Iraw election meaningless. It certainly wasn't meaningless to the 50-some-odd Iraqis who were murdered on their way to the polls. Plus, they had a higher turnout than most US elections. How many Americans do you think would come to the polls if there were insurgents hiding in the hills threatening to "wash the streets with the blood of the voters."? I bet no one. Iraq's election is inspiring no matter how you look at it. Course, it may degenerate into chaos but honestly, I hope it doesn't.
I know what you're saying, LB. Not so much about liberals being pessimistic, but about George W. Bush's success being linked to a stable and democratic Iraq. So yeah, duh, of course I want insurgents to win! Then I can say SEE? We TOLD you this war was a bad idea!

And the elections went smoothly, so we're torn, LB. We're psyched for democracy in the place of dictatorship — but the other part thinks, fuck! This means Bush is winning! He might have been right all along!

That thinking is wrong. It's the same line that makes Bush have a lock on "morals." Bush = Christian = Moral = She's a witch! Burn her!... and it's the same thinking as this right-wing "optimism" you're talking about.

And by the way, Reagan was an "underdog?" Hello? He was a cowboy too, like Bush. Remember how we were scared he was gonna launch the nukes 'cause he didn't get his nap? But that's cool — when you're playing chicken, you have an edge if you can make the other person think you're a little bit cuckoo. But we won the cold war because we outspent the godless commies, not because Reagan was right and the reds were wrong. Our economy bested theirs. Democracy looked a lot better waiting in line for scratchy TP.

This is the longest I think I've ever written about a political issue. Anyway, my point is that Iraq might "work," things might turn out okay, which would be rad, we could use that $6-billion-a-month back. But it doesn't mean an endorsement of the way W went about it, y'know? They're not the same thing.
As for the USSR, I think the outspending has little to do with its demise. It might've sped up the collapse but only by about a year or so. The reason it collapsed was because all those leaders brought up under Stalin's wing were dying out in the early '80s. The reformers took over and tried to reform the system and like that saying goes, "The most dangerous time for a bad government is when it starts to reform itself." You can't' just give the people a little freedom; they want it all, NOW. I think saying that Reagan brought down the Soviet empire is a discredit to the millions and millions who took to the streets to do it themselves. The Soviets had flirted with reform before: 1956 Hungary & 1968 Czechoslovakia to name two. Both ended the same way: violent repression. It wasn't until the gerontocracy died out that they stopped solving those problems with the iron fist. But I digress ...

Reagan really was seen as the underdog as far as his Soviet policy was concerned. Every US leader before him was focused on arms limitation and detante. Reagan built up the nuclear arsenal as much as he could and he comes out looking like the hero. Don't get me wrong, I didn't like Reagan, but to be fair, history will paint him in this vain, no doubt.

I didn't support the Bush war and WILL NOT if this election doesn't produce stability in the long run. If it does, I will alter my opinion on the Iraq war though. What is that line about foolish consistency being a hobgoblin or something?
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