Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Timescale of Pessimism- set by the media

It could be that there are grim times ahead. I mentioned recently the high casualty rates in Iraq- well, they are not so high, but relative to months where perhaps 'only' 40 or so servicemen died, month on month averages of about 90 represents a problem.

Why so? Well, the damage was already being done by talk about quagmires when the casualty rates were significantly lower, when there were many pieces of the jigsaw still falling into place. Now, I notice, the bandagon has moved on: instead of Iraq as a country recovering from a war and dictatorship, more often we find merely a country at war- and this is standard on the right, so the left needn't bother anymore, but instead can play cynical politics, which is what they do best. Not that the casualty rates are so very high, but 'where we go from here' is always the stuff of politics- and increasing death rates never makes for popular politics.

This Weekly Standard article sums up the political situation which has arisen. My anger against the journalists who have cheerled this state of affairs will never abate- one more potential absurd echo of Vietnam, I suppose. In a very real sense these have given the terrorists targets to aim for- both in terms of the actual targets, and the numbers involved. One, two (troops) killed per day has been enough for the press to shriek hysterically and present the events as a failure of the Iraq policy. This has given a kind of breathing space to the terrorists, since they could maintain a low level of carnage and plan bigger things and sustainable increases of destruction in due course, safe in the knowledge that the political process was still heading in a favourable direction where it really counts- in the governments of the coalition, with America's preeminent.

Just to clarify why I think the political process is going badly- the two recent votes in the Senate, one about an exit strategy and one about an immediate withdrawal, tell the story. The exit timetable requested by the Senate is supposed to start in 2006. The terrorists must be delighted: just one more year to hold out before they can start to claim some serious victories, or at least have the US Senate seeing to their case in Washington. By contrast the motion- overwhelmingly rejected- concerning immediate pull-out, was merely a patriotic figleaf; hence even Mr Murtha voted against it.

Sorry to be pessimistic, but I have other reasons to worry as well.

Much as I am taken by the idea of the Anglosphere, I am less than convinced that the will exists to make it a real reality. This is a great post from Albion's Seedlings, making many good points- but it's just the outline of a nice idea. Aside from the technology of the internet and telecommunications making it possible, I don't see the momentum- with the exception perhaps of some of our great trans-Atlanticists, such the the Scotts (Ablution and Expat) and Marc of Neverdock (all great sites, all in my blog links for your delectation).

I fear that much more potent in the world, in capturing the imagination of some and the non-cooperation of others which we (the UK and the US- Australia's needs are different) need to have a positive response from, is this kind of thing. The Iranian strategist comments:

"We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization"

(hat-tip, Marc at Neverdock)

This is the country that is currently resisting attempts to thwart its nuclear ambitions, and being appeased.

In the battle between the anti-anglosphere and the anglosphere I think I know which one is more united in a common philosophy. Even Mugabe has tried to get in on the act.

The only bright side, I suppose, is the Iraqis themselves. The Beeb heralded a speech from Iraqi President Talabani indicating a willingness to talk to terrorists- yet this is not really a new thing, and what I love is where he says he will '"listen... even to criminals". I doubt that's quite what the Islamofascists are waiting to hear- God rot them.

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