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Baby got back

By Michael J. Smith on Monday March 17, 2008 10:13 PM

I've fumed here before about the persistent Pwoggie tic about "taking back" America -- as if we ever had it. But as all the world knows, this notion, chimerical as it is, is the core concept of an eponymous annual "Take Back America" pwoggie conference, and in fact the 2008 installment is currently ongoing.

Among the delights that paid-up attendees will be getting is a personal presentation on the sexy subject of "A Responsible Plan To End The War In Iraq." Gotta love the "responsible" part -- as if Luther had flinched at the last minute, while nailing his theses to the church door, and smashed his thumb instead of the nailhead.

This "responsible" plan emerges over the names of several Congressional aspirants -- people who would dearly like to become responsible for the war in Iraq -- bolstered by those obligatory legitimators of the electoral pwog, a general or two.

The Plan makes mighty dull reading, but here is what I take to be the crux of it. We need to

...Create the capacity for nation-building and the use of diplomatic power by both the United States and the international community...

President Bush ran for election in 2000 saying, “I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation building.” But by late 2005, the Pentagon had issued a directive declaring nation-building to be a “core U.S. military mission.” And although the Pentagon had asked the State Department to provide expertise and people, the State Department has indicated they don’t have the capacity or the staffing to do so.

“I’d rather have more members of the State Department on the field than soldiers on the field.” --General John Abizaid (ret.)
Former Commander, United States Central Command
October 2007
The Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) currently operating in Iraq are a good start, but are too small in scope and structure to create the transformation that is required. We propose the expanded use of non-military personnel working at the grassroots level to strengthen the capacity of towns and villages to resist the insurgency on their own, as well as an internationalization of the effort. The end goal should be the creation of a network of local PRTs reaching the entirety of the Iraqi population, thus addressing the medical, agricultural, educational, and commercial needs of the population served.
In other words, run the Empire with social workers instead of machine guns.

Do they really think that this is possible? I bet they do. I bet they go into office next winter fervently believing that the circle can be squared in some such fashion. I bet it takes them a good six months or so to acknowledge, sadder but much, much wiser, that the natives have proven unworthy of their trust, and it turns out the machine guns are necessary after all. But these are Pwogs, and Democrats, so you can be sure the weaponry will be deployed in a more measured, judicious, smart way -- a la Kosovo. Or Vietnam.

The mugged-by-reality pwogs will look back on their younger, idealistic, out-of-office days with an indulgent, retrospective glow; and at the same time, their earlier good intentions will strangely radiate forward and shed a gentle forgiving luster on the ensanguinated jowls and dripping fangs of once-well-intentioned managers of empire, junior division.

Comments (7)

That is one sick-ass statement! A nice reminder of what lies at the "left" end of the planning/administrative/marketing elite running this disastrous excuse for a political party...

Thanks for catching that. And, yes, you know damned well they believe their own dookie.

Personally, I still predict Obama winds up being the chief hand-wringer in all this Iraq shit, either as Prez, Veep, or some kind of "special envoy" after the month of "trying" something "new" comes to an end. It seems to be his destiny to squander still more of the civil rights movement's unspent energy and credibility on excuses for another huge war crime.

Bat Delacourte:

I'm betting the popular vote for the Dem nominee is close and the superdelegates go for Hillary by a landslide. She becomes preznit in a squeaker against McCain. The bad blood of the Dem infighting spills over in losing them legislative seats, which gives Hillary the excuse she needs to play victim of circumstances. Her supporters will taunt the Obamaniacs for a while, but clucking goo-goos will remind them that taunting the losers is no way to take back the country. They have the 2010 elections to consider -- in some ways the most important elections of our lifetime -- and the obligation to elect more and better Democrats.

MJS and/or op -- You must say something about John Nichols' latest smooch over at The Nation! It's truly spectacular.


"run the Empire with social workers instead of machine guns. "
i think some blend is emerginga kind of

muscular social uplift outfit

a freedom force of white hats that
act like western heros
from the 30's two reelers



i never comment
on red headed
belt way woodpeckers


obama's truth troops

"We will open "America Houses" in cities across the Islamic world, with Internet, libraries, English lessons, stories of America's Muslims and the strength they add to our country, and vocational programs. Through a new " America's Voice Corps" we will recruit, train, and send out into the field talented young Americans who can speak with -- and listen to -- the people who today hear about us only from our enemies."

Truly, the Pwogs are a curious combination of merit-school expectations and post-millennial apathy. Keyboard revolutionaries with delusions of relevance.

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