Empty Days

Tuesday, April 20, 2004



Ignorance is bliss - or death - depending where you are

Just caught a bit of a lucid and totally heart-rendering european-produced documentary about the build-up of "security problems" in Iraq throughout this year (called Saddam's Revenge). A damning recap of what lead to the present situation. The juxtaposition of american blue-eyed good-will, their utter blank-slot ignorance and incomprehension, and the powerlessness of the Iraqi local leaders to help them out of this stupidity at least a little bit to make things go right for once - for better trust and cooperation. It's just too fucking sad.

You can't do much with good-will if it's set in ignorance. And I really don't know what Americans could do to improve that - they really and truly do not get it. And they have no clue they don't get it. And they keep stepping into all sorts of shit, and doing stupid hopeless mistakes simply because they just don't know any better.

The problem is - when you're totally wet behind the ears, you need to learn through all the mistakes you are bound to make. Yeah. That applies nicely to individual cases - I am not sure it's such a great method for whole armies invading a totally foreign country. The Brits sure know Iraq and Arabs a bit better - and they paid a heavy price for that knowledge. I guess Americans will have to pay it too, the hard way.

I've been reading Russian press lately. It's worth noticing how much resentment and contempt towards Americans in Iraq there is - and it's not really baseless. It's not like Russians love Arabs so much - it's just that they imagine what it would have looked like if Americans decided to "save" Russia from communism once upon a time and actually invaded the country (not just through financial-political levers as they did in fact). Heh. The mess would have been so monumental it practically merits a science-fiction treatment. The reality is - while most Russians back in the soviet times would have loved to have middle-class homes and two cars to boot as "an american way of life", they'd just loathe to have american soldiers meddling in their country. I mean - it's hard to describe what hatred such a presence would have provoked - while the americans would have been congratulating themselves on "liberating" this poor people from oppression :-0

Total disconnection between realities of a country and dumbass ideals.

Just as right now, after 10 years of free-for-all "democracy" that turned the country into a monumental collection of slum-towns with 1% of the population grabbing and sitting on all the wealth, most Russians equate "democracy" with boundless obscene poverty, raging thievery, and the law of the jungle. And guess what - the pro-western sentiment in Russia is somehow reduced to that 1% and even less, considering that some of that 1% are those perennial home-grown thieves and high-rank muggers. Democracy and free market just don't sit well with most people at the moment. I can't say it was totally unpredictable. It's either one or the other at the moment. The powers that be have chosen free-market and drastically reduced "democracy" - it's just safer that way. And it will stay like that or worse for a long time now.

And how do you think this is different in Iraq? Given that the whole damn country keeps a K-47 in every home it gotta be much worse than that. No amount of dumbass goodwill can prevent this piece of land from blowing up completely at some point and then rapidly turning into yet another rabid dictatorship - when you have to choose between relative peace and raging lawlessness, the solution occurs almost by itself. And how are you gonna keep that peace if you're a clueless american and you understand exactly nothing about anything - except your own shining high-ideals?

I do wish it were otherwise. But it's not. There are no doubt some uncanny fast-learners in the US military out there - but somehow I don't think they're in the majority or can significantly change the overall gist of it. After all, when your commander-in-chief is a clueless moron there is really nothing much you can do but go and obey idiotic orders. And watch your soldiers die - and see the whole thing explode no matter what.

You know - it's really much easier to be more or less of an optimist until you are made to take a really close look. This is why US is swarming with bombasting optimists - since there's practically no in-depth information as to what is really happening in Iraq. Unpleasant, in-your-face stuff is not welcome and is not broadcast.

Alright, I am through with this shit.

I wish I never saw this documentary, at least I'd have that little shred of misiniformed hope to cling to. Not anymore. And I dread to see what will be in that other too-well-informed article tomorrow...





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