“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Supporting the Troops and Having to do Something.
All the talk about supporting the troops is nonsense. It is just another vacuous version of "have a nice day." Pay your taxes and you support the troops. It all comes down to being for war or against it, or does it?
Being for or against war, says about as much as saying you like nice things or hate being in a hospital. Who is not against war, for nice things and hating to be in a hospital?
Wars are about miscalculation, breakdowns in diplomacy, misinterpretation, political weakness and getting overrun by events. They occur when someone says these words:"Someone has to do something."
Having to do something is usually when wars happen.
That something can be a blatant provocation like crashing airplanes into buildings, someone shooting your arch-duke or sinking a few of your ships.
The only thing keeping Iraq from a complete meltdown are 150,000 US and allied troops. How they got there is meaningless. They are there now and the question is what happens when they are pulled?
Pull them precipitously and here is my dismal prediction:
Violence that will kill thousands in a day. Millions of people in cars trucks and tractors fleeing for their lives. Fires, explosions and mayhem. Threats and counter-threats from neighboring countries. Oil pipelines burning. Historic buildings in ruin. Iconic photos on every channel, maybe more coverage than Anna Nichole, and oh yes, someone saying, "Someone has to do something."