micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Monday, September 22, 2003
Sullivan and such
In a post from Tuesday, Andrew Sullivan writes:
A NEW MARSHALL PLAN?: I was struck by an aside in Fareed Zakaria's typically sane op-ed in today's Washington Post. he says that the $20 billion to be spent on Iraqi infrastructure in the next year amounts to one half of that country's GNP. The scale of generosity boggles the mind - especially since the lion's share of the damage was done by Saddam Hussein, not by the war.The funny thing is if one actually believes Sullivan's argument about the "war on terror" then this spending is self-preservation, not "generosity" that the United States deserves a pat on the back for.
I suspect that Sullivan doesn't actually think about these things and instead just writes down whatever justifications and defenses of the "war on terror" that come to his mind with no regard for internal consistency.
And why shouldn't he? Sullivan's just following his leader.
”We can ignore logic,” Uncle Sam just said, “because we are right.”
The Fareed Zakaria piece that Sullivan cites is an argument for the U.S. not turning over Iraq to the Iraqis or establishing popular sovereignty too soon:
Iraq may not be a failed state, but it is a highly dysfunctional one. It has been through three decades of totalitarian rule, three wars, 13 years of economic sanctions and massive internal repression. Its ministries are organized along Stalinist lines. Its people have been cowed into submission for decades. It will take some time to reform the Iraqi state and heal Iraq's political culture. An immediate transfer of power would retard and perhaps even reverse this process of reform. New political leaders would seek to use the Iraqi state to consolidate their power, not limit its reach. That is what happened in Bosnia. Once elected, ethnic thugs didn't want to build the rule of law; they wanted to use the law to stay in office...Since no "democracy" is perfectly democratic, I'll concede that the U.S. was a "genuine democracy" from at least the time of the Constitution, but it is absurd to claim that the U.S. is the same democracy today that it was in 1789, 1790 or 1791. To do so requires ignoring the abolition of slavery which was accomplished via a civil war, the numerous struggles for what Marxists call "democratic rights" and the gradual increase in the power of the Federal Government.
(It should be noted that France turned out fairly well according to Zakaria. So, I feel the need to ask, why is it so important that Iraqis not be allowed to go through the various stages that lead to democracy?)
”America is perfect so we can ignore facts,” Uncle Sam is now telling me.
In a September 11 post, Sullivan writes:
POSEUR ALERT: "One you've never heard of. 'Jaspora' by Wyclef Jean." - Howard Dean, when asked what his favorite song was. Here are the lyrics, from the lead singer/rapper for the Fugees. Is this some sort of Jamaican slang? Can someone translate for me? It could be really interesting. I'm sure Joe Lieberman would love to find out what "Yo pa respekte Izrayèl" might mean.O.K. if Sullivan read the Rolling Stone review he linked to, he would find out that the lyrics are in Creole. And Sullivan lives in a weird world if he actually thinks that someone would name check Wyclef Jean in an effort to be hip.
”WE ARE AMERICA! WE CAN SAY WHATEVER WE WANT AND BE RIGHT!” Uncle Sam just yelled.