I don’t normally post essays by others, but Claire Berlinski deserves to have this published somewhere.
A MODEST PROPOSAL
by Claire Berlinksi
A MODEST PROPOSAL
by Claire Berlinksi
Uh….her idea’s nuts. No offense, but just exactly how do we expect to control Saddam once he has over 200 million subjects under his control, not to mention a truckload of nukes and over half the world’s known oil reserves? Suppose he reneges on his promises regarding Israel and oil – do you think he’ll stop if he politely ask him not to?
Saddam, like Arafat, may not be a fundamentalist, but like Arafat, he’s cut from the same diseased cloth. Same pathological hatred for the Israel and the West, same obsession with honor and pride, and of never giving an inch to the enemy, same delusions about the glories of Islamic culture, same pathetic fantasies about being the man on the white horse who leads the Arab/Islamic world to a new Golden Age against the unbelievers, no matter how many heads roll along the way. Letting Saddam have control of the entire Mid-East is only marginally more rational than letting Al-Qaeda have it.
Our enemy is not Islamic fundamentalism per se. It’s the Muslim world’s colossal feelings of inferiority and envy, the product of being on the losing side of history for most of the last four centuries. The Islamists are one symptom of this, secular tyrants like Saddam and Arafat are another. And as the Palestinians have shown, the two sides are more than willing to join forces when it suits their ends. We need to thoroughly eliminate them both.
How about we replace the Iraqi government with a federalist democracy (like the US) and allow it’s neighbors to join it.
$9 a Barrel please, oil right now costs $0.52 / gallon
Guys, guys … it’s satire. Don’t get your knickers in a twist.
But you’re right, I meant barrel, not gallon. Steve, if you want to change that, feel free.
Sorry if I sounded a bit coarse, Claire. It’s just that I’ve seen the “Saddam isn’t a threat because he isn’t a fundamentalist” view thrown out a few times before, and I think it misses the point regarding what the enemy’s actually about. Above all else, September 11 was an act of anti-Western envy. And in the Middle East, anti-Western envy isn’t limited much by religious constraints.
Her point is one of those things (wish I had a word) that is simultaneously satire and truth. Fine, Arab secularism might not be “better” than fundamentalism, but now we are dealing with the reality that it is fact no worse either. I am not prepared to say that the Gulf War was a mistake, but I have had similar thoughts. One of them is that even Saddam as a regional superpower would then have something enormous to lose… his empire. Thus, like the Soviets, he’ll make trouble when he can, but will also keep things in check enough to protect himself. Even the Israelis would just say, “Here are our targeting schematics, Saddam, old boy, just so you know. And if something does go boom in Tel Aviv and we don’t know where it came from, well, guess what, it came from you, my friend, like it or not. End of discussion. So, how ’bout a treaty one of these days, m’kay?”
I’m just blathering, I suppose, but it does strike me that a reasonbly unified Arab power with a decent economy and military would now have something worth protecting, and might act accordingly. As it is they have sand, diminishing oil, and rage. And maybe nukes not too far off.
I do wonder. (‘Course, it’s too late for Saddam now, so it’s just conjecture)
I think her idea is pretty good, but I believe there is a bit unsaid. Have him do all the dirty work and then after a year or so and get rid of him. No more problems. But I know there is some kind of axiom or law that says if it seems to good to be true then it probably is to good to be true or something like that. Nice laugh for a long friday afternoon
Heh heh heh heh heh heh
As for Israel and support for anti-western terrorism – there is a John Wayne movie where he is talking to the leader of a gang that has kidnapped his grandson.
He tells them that he would just as soon give them the money, take the boy and that will be that – but he says “Let me make it clear – if anything happens to that boy, your fault, my fault, nobodies fault, then I will kill you.”
That line works – mostly.
It would work here, too.
And, we make no promises about Uday…
Isn’t she the one who used to be Dawson Jackson’s main squeeze until he dropped her for that skinny ass Anne Coulter? What the hell was he thinking? Get her to post more stuff. JB
I have my own plan that I think will bring world peace.
I think it will work beacuse it involves lots of nuking, though, hopefully, not much killing.
I don’t think you can ever trust these idiotic dictators unless you know they’re scared out of their wits.
Thanks to everyone for the nice words.
Now, JB in particular, you ask a fair question, and I figure my public has the right to know the answer.
But it’s not pretty, I warn you.
Well, here goes. I thought I was pretty much a woman of the world. I mean, I’m no innocent; and just between you, me and the Blogosphere, I’m up for all kinds of kinky fun and games. Or so I thought. I mean, most men who’ve been with me have actually been a little frightened by how far I’ll go. In fact, this is a little embarrassing to admit, but this one guy — and he was like some Delta Force commando, so I thought he’d be able to handle anything, you know? — well, he got so terrified that we had to call 911, and it took like a thousand milligrams of clonazepam to calm him down afterwards. I’m a little ashamed about that now, I should have discussed doing that thing with the flamethrower with him before just springing it on him like that. But anyway, that’s water under the bridge … I’m way more sensitive now, really.
But back to the subject. There were things that guy needed … I mean, needed to … I want to be careful here, I know kids read this blog … well, let’s say that he couldn’t achieve … well, you know what I mean … without … God, I’m too embarrassed even to write it here … let’s just say it involved a dog collar, a bullwhip, and my pantyhose. And an orange. And Preparation H. And a picture of his mom. And I tried to do it the way he wanted, I really did, even though I kept worrying about that British MP who ended up good and dead after pulling a stunt like that, you know? But somehow I just kept … laughing. Always at the wrong time. And I guess it ruined the mood for him, and he got all upset, and he called me a “whore,” and “a bitch like all the other women,” and then he’d sulk for days.
But evidently, Ann knew just what he wanted, and did it even without being asked. On their very first date. So I guess maybe they were, you know, more compatible.
But he’s a great guy, and I wish him and Ann the very best.
Hey, though, if you’re interested in something a little tamer, give me a call!
Thanks for writing,
A novel idea, but you skip over the obvious: why not let Israel loose on the middle east, alongside with Turkey’s assistance? They have a lot more firepower, they’ll sure as hell keeps the pumps flowing, and dammnit, in 20 years they could deploy ‘settlements’ all over the place and squash islamic fundamentalism, for good.
Claire, you are a the diadem of the August 2002 blogosphere. I hope you have staying power, honey. If your commando-interlude past is prologue, you will out-stay Gibraltar.
I’ve posted it before, and I post it again. I think the solution to the Saddam problem will involve our new Russian friends.
Our new Russian friends… The spiritual joy that that statement sends through this Cold-warrior heart is almost unbearable.
The last time I checked, Turkey was nowhere near the Middle East. It’s in Europe. Why not let France take over Iraq? Or something? Or what?
Nailed it! Ive never seen anything so a-b-s-o-l-u-t-ely dead smack on in my life. Was the writer channeling Jonathan Swift! Freakin Perfect! I may break a standard rule in my office and actually PRINT this.
In one clear written, precise bit of writing it manages to decompose every argument against attacking saddam and clearly makes those who would waffle stand naked in front of its biting logic.
I am stunned the exellence of this!
Good job Steve for finding this bit!!!!
Claire – My Hat is off.
Claire, more than my hat is off right now, hehehe. Sounds like you’re the one who’s hotter than a two dollar pistol. I like truth in advertising.May we continue this elsewhere? Please read my email. I might not have ever done the flamethrower thing, but if you’re interested in Humvee fun I’m your guy. JB
Something I’ve not seen mentioned that just hit me – the extent to which the Middle East is protected from Saddam by us. You know, the truth is they don’t want him turned loose, they want us to contain him in a little box where they can use him but not have to fear his insanity. We have created a cradle of relative stability for these nations to function in. If we pulled out completely, like they say they want, the whole place would go to hell in a handbasket in six months.
I’m with Claire.
Cletus, check again. About 5% of Turkey– the bit west of the Bosporus– is in Europe. The rest is in Southwestern Asia, commonly known (along with Northeastern Africa, especially Egypt) as the “Middle East.”
Here’s a map, and here’s a geographical factsheet (note the first two items, “Location” and “Map references”).