Thursday, December 13, 2007

Someone Else I Like - Camille Paglia

I always jump on her latest monthly piece whenever it is posted. No one says it better than Camille:

If the "surge" is really working in Iraq, all my fellow Democrats should rejoice, because it's one more step toward getting U.S. troops the hell out of there. Let Bush have his face-saving claims of victory -- who cares? Just bring this stupid, wasteful war to an end. Our brave soldiers and their families have suffered enough. And the toll in death, mutilation and trauma among hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iraqis is obscenely high and will never be fully documented. I remain skeptical about long-term political prospects in Iraq, whose nationhood was a convenient British fiction after World War I and whose border territory may eventually be devoured by its neighbors, including Turkey and Iran.


But primary and secondary education, which should provide an entree to great art and thought, has declined into trivialities and narcissistic exercises in self-esteem. Popular culture, once emotionally vibrant and collective in impact (from Hollywood movies to rock music), has waned into flashy, transient niche entertainment. The young, who are masters of ever-evolving personal technology, are besieged by the siren call of materialism. In this climate, it is selfish and shortsighted for liberals to automatically define religion as a social problem that needs suppression or eradication. Without spirituality in some form, people will anesthetize themselves with drink or drugs -- including the tranquilizers that seem near universal among the status-addled professional class of the Northeastern elite.


jeff said...

One possible problem with her logic here is that, if the surge 'works' (the definition of what 'works' means changes a lot for Bush Jr. and Co.), then they may think it means that we ought to stay there even longer, to keep 'keeping the peace', rather than thinking it means we can get out once the job is done. That's what the huge military bases we've been building there are all about--long term presence.

Sweating Through fog said...

You are right, sadly. We aren't building that imperial embassy in Bhagdad because the powers-that-be intend on leaving soon. Unfortunately it's all about corporation and their opportunity for profit.

hedera said...

As much as I'd like to bring the troops home, there's a certain validity to the position originally stated by Colin Powell: "You break it, you bought it." We made this awful mess; we had no conceivable reason to make it but we did; and it seems likely that when (and if) we leave, all hell will break loose for the unfortunate Iraqi people. Does this impose some kind of obligation on us to stay there until they can get their hands around the situation?

As for Iraq being an artificial construct after WWI, I've heard numerous quotes from Iraqi people that clearly indicate they consider themselves Iraqi. It may have been a fiction in 1920 but it's acquired some creds in the interval.

Anonymous said...

I like Paglia too, STF. She always manages to hit just about everything right on the mark.