Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Rotten boroughs

Posted by Ron Coleman on July 17, 2007

Arnold Kling, via Instapundit:

I think that President Bush has got one thing very much right, which is that Arab-Islamic terrorism is a symptom that something is rotten in the Middle East. If anything, his failures in Iraq and Palestine are due to underestimating the degree of rot. For all the allegations of his lack of intellect, George Bush is a brainiac compared to people who want to see terrorism as a symptom of something rotten in the United States or Israel.

Well taken, but I think a little wrong. When Kling writes, “his failures in Iraq and Palestine are due to underestimating the degree of rot,” it is in fact — contrary to the next sentence — not the rot in the Mideast that Bush (and the rest of us) underestimated, but the degree of political rot right here, mainly along the Capitol / MSM axis.

Yes, he could have no idea people would be so willing to slaughter their brothers, so often and so brutally, just to put political pressure on Washington. But far worse than this is that such pressure is so resolutely successful.

Rot does not begin to describe it.

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3 Responses to “Rotten boroughs”

  1. Mike Devx said

    Democracy – and its better descendant, representative government – can only survive when the people of a sovereign nation identify with each other. “We are all Americans”, so the saying goes around here. That overarching identity, over time, beats any neighborhood, political, or religious identification.

    Iraq is still in a state of tribalism. Whatever nation or nations evolve from it, its people’s self-identification with each other cannot progress in the short run. Our own democratic and republican institutions developed over centuries, and painfully. There is no short cut.

    We need to keep this in mind as we attempt to foster stability in the Middle East. Pie in the sky solutions always collapse, leaving an anarchy in the wake of the collapse that is worse than whatever came before. There’s no substitute for wisdom.

  2. Iraq is still in a state of tribalism. Whatever nation or nations evolve from it, its people’s self-identification with each other cannot progress in the short run.

    This might be the biggest mistake we made. We thought of a nation state, perhaps with some sectarian strains, but not the level of murderous hatred that underlay the fascist template of Saddam Hussein. Or Harry Reid.

  3. […] Rotten boroughs Arnold Kling, via Instapundit: I think that President Bush has got one thing very much right, which is that […] […]

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