Monday, January 01, 2007

NOTHING CHANGES ON NEW YEAR'S DAY... the fact that the situation in Iraq just keeps getting worse. Circumstances may be a little different--Saddam being hung, for instance--but what you can count on always staying the same is that Iraq will never get better and will always get worse.

Like for instance, the fact that we've now lost over 3,000 soldiers. That's different--yet exactly the same.

What a way to ring in the new year!

Why is 1938 always analogous?

I had a conversation with a family member recently and I asked him what he thought about a troop "surge" in Iraq. He said that we should either get out completely or nuke the place. I suggested that given those two options, we should leave.

He elaborated further and said that well, the situation is more complicated than that, that we might be able to fix our mess with more troops, etc. I pointed out that similar logic drove thousands to their deaths in Vietnam and we now agree that Vietnam wasn't worth the sacrifice.

Oh, but that wasn't the preferred analogy for this reciter of conventional wisdom. We can't just pull out and pretend that all is well and that pacification is complete. Isn't that what Chamberlain did at Munich--pretend that all was well?

It occurred to me during this conversation that even the lessons of history cannot dissuade people if they have their mind set on something. Oh, they will speak as though history has taught them even if there is a more recent and contradictory example. I just marvelled at the logic that always accepts Munich as analogous to every situation that we face, while Vietnam holds virtually no lessons for the present (except, as Bush averred recently, that we only lose if we leave).

It's official...and quite telling

Reading in a post about Robert Novak at Americablog, I learned that Novak had this to say about the GOP and an escalation of Iraq:

Even in Mississippi, the reddest of red states, where Bush's approval rating has just inched above 50 percent, Republicans see no public support for more troops.

It's official--Mississippi is the reddest of the red states. Now is that a good thing? I think not. Mississippi leads or nearly leads the country in almost everything bad and trails the country in everything good. For example:

-Mississippi is number 2 in infant mortality
-Mississippi is number 49 in median household income
-Mississippi was tied for 2nd place in number of citizens below the poverty level
-Mississippi is dead fucking last in number of people 25 and older who have completed high school

And so forth and so on. I think therefore that a strong argument can be made that being a "red state" is a bad thing. If you want your state to be poor and uneducated, then be a red state--that's the message that not many people in this state seem to get. Is that because they're poor and uneducated? Hmmm...just asking.

Happy New Year!

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