Monday, August 28, 2006

The Tinkerbell Strategy

I watched a video on Iraq on the YouTubes, made, no doubt, by a very fine and very sincere boy. It's always been mostly boys who go to war. They're as big as men, smart, capable, trained and brave ... boys. This one seems good. There are two songs in the soundtrack. The second one, pure bunko, is filled with pride about the idea that Uncle Sam and the American people will rain destruction, via our military, on the enemies who attacked us on 9/11 from "somewhere out in the back" -- which just happens to rhyme with "Iraq."

The moment I heard that lyric I was reminded again that many people support misadventures like Iraq because they wish that we could find a state enemy behind the 9/11 attack. Wouldn't it be great? Wouldn't it be great if this were WWII and all we had to do was win battles? We are the most powerful military force in the world, so wouldn't it be great if we could frame the conflict in terms tractable by our strengths?

But instead of bombing Nazi Germany, we invaded Iraq, a country that had no WMDs and nothing to do with 9/11. Trying to duck that unpleasant reality, many people continue with magical thinking: Maybe if I believe Iraq attacked us on 9/11, and maybe if I believe in the war fervently enough, the things I believe will come true, and we'll defeat the terrorists. This is the Tinkerbell Strategy, which is why the 'patriots' get so upset with people who point out the facts.
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