A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Saturday, July 19, 2003 :::
Rascal Flats fans should scroll through this post to the next one, particularly if they got here looking for a link to the "I Melt" video, or comments on that video. But be sure to read this on the way down, or poke around the archive. This is a GREAT blog.

As Plain as the Nose on Donald Rumsfeld's Face. A Mind That Suits has now chipped away at several pages of the Pentagon's report on our administration of Iraq. Having been forced to endure many such reports while in government employ, he can assure you that it is as turgid and unreadable as any of them. However, it is very well done, and repays careful reading. The number one concern, as has been expressed here several times, is that there are not enough forces on the ground to ensure the safety of the average citizen, particularly women. Contrary to news reports, its number one recommendation is clearly "more people, now," although it is put as bureaucratically as possible.

Although we knew about that, the most disturbing new thing is that apparent consensus that the looting was organized by the Ba'ath party. So far as I have found, this is not in the report, but was what memberes of the study group said to reporters.

Remember how all the news reports stated that the looting was anger directed at the government, because primarily government offices were being looted? Well, how about all the looting was directed by the government, to destroy records. Totalitarian governments are notorious for keeping minute records, as when the Nazi's carefully recorded how many Jews were on each "deportation" train, and the train authority was paid so much per prisoner for its cooperation. And let us not forget the warehouse full of dead Iranians, each with a gruesome dossier. The report mentions de-Ba'athifying former judges. How can you if there are no records? You have to sort through countless personal denunciations, and the person doing the denouncing might be a Ba'athist.

Apparently totalitarian governments excel also in destroying records.

Our boys fought bravely to liberate this country; let us pray our government does what is necessary to ensure that their sacrifice will not go for naught. As the report notes, the "window of opportunity" is closing fast.

Watch your language. Two things about the report annoy. One is the consistent use of "enormity" to mean "great size," as in the "enormity of the job ahead." "Enormity" means "great evil," as in "the enormity of Saddam's crimes." "Enormousness" would be the noun they were looking for, and there are probably better ones.

The other is a note calling for small payments--in development terms, known as "the Grameen Bank scheme"--to local entrepreneurs. In a devastated economy like Iraq's, very small payments can go a long way. According to the report, these grants should be "massive" in order to, among other things, "help empower key agents of change such as women."

Men are not key agents of change?

That is East Coast Academic Newspeak, pure and simple. If they had said, "women in particular region," or "women who work in a traditionally female work sector," or almost any qualifier, it might have made sense, but just "women?"

Nonetheless, the key issue is still, more people, more money, more action now, or we are headed for more trouble in Iraq, not now, but very soon.

Have a Good Weekend.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 11:37 AM



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