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

Wednesday, August 20, 2003 :::
As this blog is being written, the country is still absorbing the lesson offered by Tuesday's pair of suicide killings, one in Israel, one in Iraq. On Israel, this blog must plead some kind of ignorance; what is to be done there is not obvious.

Before we take up Iraq, however, let's make some things clear: George W. Bush was this writer's candidate in early 1999, and he is still glad he gave W money way back in 1999. The mass graves and the warehouses full of coffins have been horrifying, and the Iraqi people clearly could not be happier to be rid of Saddam Hussein.

However, A Mind That Suits has hardly been shy about saying that something is terribly wrong with the way we are conducting ourselves in Iraq. It is not the fact of our being there: 40 people at most showed up to the funerals of Saddam's miserable sons, whose names are now slipping from memory.

Rather, it is the overall strategy that gives pause, and causes worry. After a tremendous internal battle, the Administration opted for a light army, to prove what we can do. We proved it. But traditional American war strategy has been based on overwhelming the enemy if possible, and we opted not to. The enemy here is not the shadow Republican Guard. The enemy here is what happens in any society when people who have been deprived and terrorized for 30 years are liberated; chaos will almost surely follow. The particular enemies that we must look out for are those who would capitalize on the chaos, to the detriment of world peace, the Iraqi people, and American interests. (And yes, A Mind That Suits believes firmly that those three coincide far more often than they diverge.)

It has now been several weeks since a blue ribbon panel issued a thorough and sobering report on the situation in Iraq. Their first recommendation, with no qualification whatsoever, was "more people, now." Getting the print version of the Journal at the end of the day way out West, with news that is essentially 24 hours old, leaves a surreal impression. The old news was that, concerned about the exposure of our troops, the US is stepping up training so it can have an Iraq security force operational. It will have 7,000 men. And it will come in to service "over the next few months." The NEW news, pouring in over the Internet all day, was about the bombings.

The blue ribbon panel said "more troops, NOW," and this conservative has seen nothing since they said it to indicate that they were wrong. But even as resposible writers like Gerald Seib, in the Journal this morning (August 20,) and Reagan advisor Morton Abramowitz two weeks ago, shout that the emperor has no clothes, the editorial pages of the conservative journals are silent. Why?

More troops, NOW. That should be the universal cry.

As for any new moves, anyone saying that Syria and Iran would be easy should have desert sand poured down their throats. People who say such things are playing with the lives of our soldiers, and of innocent, suffering people in countries that we simply do not understand. Remember, we were assured that the Shi'a majority of Iraq was traditional, which meant apolitical, and that they would never ally themselves with the Sunnis who had oppressed them for so long. That was, until a prominent anti-American Shi'a leader began to forge ties with Sunni clerics. That little lesson should be absorbed and digested before we go tromping around in new places, stretching our troops to their limit.

How soon after we march into Damascus will some petty creep somewhere do the math, realize we are tied down and stretched to the limit, and launch some attack we will be powerless to stop? We are CONSERVATIVES. We should act that way.

A new wrinkle, and something new to think about: The indispensible MEMRI (www.memri.org), run by the indispensible Daniel Pipes, yesterday ran a translation of a communique from someone who said they were al-Qaeda, claiming responsibilty for the Kenyan plane disaster, the recent Indonesian bomb, and....the blackout. Do not think that the average Muslim in the streets will find it easy to decide if that is true or not.

That said--and if you disagree with A Mind That Suits, please write to amindthatsuits@ yahoo.com--A Mind That Suits will now offer a brief biography of himself.

A Mind That Suits came into this worl in upstate New York, but his parents decamped for Central Florida long before anyone had ever heard of it. It was still "those orange groves on the way to Miami." There, the bright young lad grew up in Orlando, a timorous, sleepy little slice of New England, only with alligators. And walking fish.

The family upped and moved to Northern California--indeed, Napa--before IT became famous. It did not seem to the young lad that his was a forward thinking family, but it seems they were. A Mind That Suits quickly skipped off to college, first the state school nearby, and then a certain red-tile-roofed sports powerhouse in Palo Alto.

Stanford did not look to A Mind That Suits to lead the way to any NCAA championship. But it did give the young lad a first rate education, and he still has a soft spot in his heart for it. Until he thinks about cloning. Then he gets mad.

At the end of college, A Mind That Suits concluded he is a Southern boy at heart. After picking up a fondness for walking in the cool California evenings, fresh food, and water polo, he decamped to Washington, DC, where he sought fame and glory in politics. Only, after 7 years, he bailed, in favor of an artsy existence as a waiter and writer. Only, mainly, he waited on tables. And hung out the legendary 9:30 Club, where he threw teenagers who had landed at his feet back into the mosh pit. He was not so very much older himself.

He then fell into teaching English as a second language, and discovered that he had a considerable talent for managing large special events, which is what he does to make up for the teacher's salary and to pay for the frequent trips to Italy.

He is now at work on two books and a couple of screen ideas, as well as sorting out the papers of his late, beloved uncle, the political novelist Allen Drury.

He speaks Italian comfortably,and can read Latin, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, in descending order of ease. He is devoutly Roman Catholic, and unashamedly conservative. And he must go off now and do other things. Until tomorrow...

An added note: as for the circumlocution, A Mind That Suits is a huge fan of Miss Manners, both as a social observer, and as a writer, even though she is a liberal. It also leads to much better writing, forcing A Mind That Suits to come up with other ways of beginning a sentence than "I..."

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 1:14 AM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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