Friday, April 16, 2004

call the metaphor police
Just when they thought the Vietnam meme had been safely stamped on, a new metaphor emerges from out of the past.

The full scope of our disaster in Syracuse – er, sorry, Iraq – may be evident before the party conventions, as well as prior to the fall election. Might Bush do an LBJ and choose not to run? Will a Kerry who voted for the war be a credible nominee? Military disaster can displace all sorts of certainties.

As an extended tale of hubris dismantled and ground into the dirt, the Pelopponesian War has an accumulating relevance factor, though the US won't share Athen's ultimate fate.

Also from the article:

The pretense that we came to “liberate” the Iraqi people and not as conquerors is no longer credible. Faced with a popular uprising, we effectively declared war on the people of Iraq. The overall American commander, Gen. John Abizaid, “gave a stark warning for the Iraqi fighters, from the minority Sunni as well as the majority Shiite populations,” according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

“ ‘First, we are going to win,’ Abizaid said, seated at a table in a marbled palace hall. … ‘Secondly, everyone needs to understand that there is no more powerful force assembled on Earth than this military force in this country .…’ ”

Meilan dialogue, anyone?

Also at SFTT, David Hackworth assesses the progress of the new Iraqi armed forces in his inimitable "I normally prefer kicking ass to literature but that Hemingway's an OK guy in my book" style.