St George, the Dragon, and the Princess Ingratitudia
An outtake from a post in progress:
Would I rather have Saddam back in power?
No, I would rather that now that's he been gone for three years we'd finally get around to making Iraq better off without him.
Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Donald Rumsfeld took us to war for a mix of reasons that boiled down amount to little more than that they saw the opportunity they'd been looking for since they decided to install themselves as America's ruling triumverate with George Bush as their puppet and front man. They saw their chance to increase America's power to protect its interests in the Mideast---oil and Israel---and increase the power of the Republican power at home.
They manipulated George Bush into leading the charge the way they have always manipulated him, going back to his father's days as Reagan's VP---Here's you shot, George. You finally get to be a bigger man than your dad.
The neo-cons in the administration were motivated by the same cowardice masquerading as zeal that motivated them through the Cold War when they desired above all to be rid forever and ever not just of enemies but of the idea we might have enemies. They saw a chance to do in Iraq what they never could do to the Rooskies---annihlate an enemy.
Other supporters of the war mostly saw a chance to eliminate Saddam Hussein.
The war was never about weapons of mass destruction, except that they'd provide evidence of what they already knew, Saddam Hussein was a bad man.
It was never about bringing democracy to Iraq, except that just the idea that democracy needed to be imposed from outside by force meant that it was being kept out by force and that was more evidence Saddam was evil and needed to go.
It was never about 9/11 and any Iraqi ties to al Qaeda, because the first two "proofs" of Saddam's evil also proved he was capable of anything, including masterminding and bankrolling 9/11, and if he hadn't, well, then, sooner or later he'd do something just as bad if not worse, because he's evil, see reasons one and two.
Nothing has shown they were wrong about that.
They don't feel lied to about WMD, or nation building, or ties to 9/11, because none of those things were ever the reason.
They were descriptions---metaphors for Saddam's black and rotten soul.
They convinced themselves that because Saddam was so clearly evil and that, even more clearly, the United States was so good and pure of heart and mind, that our being Saddam's enemy was all the proof any Iraqi needed of our beneficence, magnaminity, compassion, and disinterested desire to help, that just the idea that we had rescued them from Saddam's clutches should have been enough to make the Iraqis forever grateful.
They can't believe that the Iraqis would want anything more, like reliable electric power, like they had before, and functioning schools and hospitals, like they had before, and no fear that when they went out into the street to pick up a loaf of bread that they would get blown up or worse, which they were blessedly free of before.
A maiden held captive by a dragon doesn't want to be rescued by another dragon, even if the second dragon doesn't plan to eat her like the other dragon, just take her home to his cave.
And she can be forgiven for not feeling especially grateful to a knight who comes along to slay the dragon, if when he's done the knight rides off, leaving her chained naked to a rock, shouting over his shoulder as he gallops away, "Would you rather have the dragon back?"
And read Digby on how the knight, riding off into the sunset, has been trampling people in his path and still can't figure out why the princess and her subjects are grateful.