Monday, August 25, 2014

Thinking Outside the Hole

The moribund dead-tree Washington Post delivers the conventional un-wisdom for today:
Will journalist James Foley’s beheading be enough to bring President Obama and Congress together on a bipartisan program to deal with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria?

Although the Constitution allows the commander in chief to order the use of force to meet immediate national security threats, both history and political common sense argue that the president needs public backing and thus congressional support to deal with dangers posed by the rapid growth of the Islamic State.
There's more, of course; lots more, ad nauseam.  There's even a sly suggestion at the end that the Congress had better back off its feckless token efforts to reign in the NSA's countless imperial surveillance programs, since the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria, and Iowa (ISILI, or maybe it's ISISI or some other foolish initialism with a lot of I's in it) will certainly stop the sale of beer in Dubuque unless we all sign up for NSA videocams in our bedrooms.  Which is probably what our smartphones already are, unless we hide 'em in the sock drawer overnight.

But you will scan Mr. Pincus's nonsense in vain for any acknowledgement that ISISI / ISILI / whatever-it's-called-this-week is, like al-Qaeda before it, entirely a creation of good bipartisan US foreign policy.  I wonder what name will be given to the new unintended (?) consequence that will spring forth when we all unite behind our Imperator again?

Folks, we're at the bottom of a fairly deep hole already.  We should be thinking in terms of ladders, ropes, chimneying our way up, etc.  Another spasm of energetic, united digging won't solve the problem.  Toss the shovel up out of the hole, and let's do something we haven't been doing almost continuously for the last three or four decades, shall we?

1 comment:

Mimi said...

You know we think in tandem on certain subjects, Jim, and naturally, I agree with you here a hundred percent. Just want to add that your analogy--the hole, the shovel, etc.--is so perfectly apt, I wish I had thought of it.