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

Monday, December 20, 2004 :::
The Great Goddess Feelgood is apparently a stern mistress who demands complete submission from her lovers. The once-glorious editorial page of the Wall Street Journal this morning offers an interesting plan for "internationalizing" the war effort in Iraq: include troops from Muslim countries. Which?, you might reasonably ask.

Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia comes the answer.

On Bangladesh, this writer offers no comment, as he knows nothing, just as he knows that the writer of this editorial knows nothing of Bangladesh. On Pakistan, one supposes, the loyal conservative reader is supposed to suppress everything he has ever read about how Islamic fundamentalism is rife in the armed forces and Pres. Perves Mushareff has had a terrible time controlling them. On Indonesia, we are supposed to forget the recent, spectacularly violent domestic strife and reports of all those vicious Islamist leaders and the schools (madrasses) that they run, and we are supposed to believe that they would make no effort to inflitrate and control the units sent to Iraq.

But the Great Goddess Feelgood has an even greater sacrifice to demand of her paramours, in this case, consistency. The editorial refers to Indonesia's "distinctive, moderate form of Shia Islam."

Wait a minute.

Weren't we supposed to rest assured that Iraq's Shi'a leaders, or at least some of them, belonged to a "quietest, otherworldly" school of Shi'ism? What happened to them? Why, they formed an alliance with other Shi'a. In fact, the quietest Shi'a, in the 1930's, worried the British with dreams of a unified Shi'a state across Iran and most of Iraq. But instead of finding out what "quietist" Shi'ism entails, conservative editorialists ran with the word "quietist" to assure us that they meant no harm.

Books, lads; they're called books. History books, in fact. It would help if our supposed intellectual leaders cracked a few, before spouting any more of their "plausible" scenarios. How about "probable" ones? They're depressing, but at least you don't get surprised.

The editorial was carried the subtitle " A Better Idea Than Firing Donald Rumsfeld." How about, "A Dumber Idea Than Keeping Donald Rumsfeld?"

The President continues to show a firmer grasp of realities than do many "conservative" intellectuals, which grasp you can see on display if you read the section of a press conference this morning in which he characterized the performance of Iraqi troops so far as being, in part, "unacceptable."

The grim assessment on prospects for the war offered in the previous post has been revised somewhat. The whole thing has been tightened stylistically, but scroll down to the section on "slivers of light."

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 4:07 PM



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