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May 27, 2004

Comments

Doh

Great post.

Reminded me of a post I was going to send to you which makes a somewhat similar point in a different context (and perhaps more importantly, ties in Buffy)--

from Slacktivist, http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2004/05/apocalypservice.html-

[quoting Perlstein's Village Voice article:]Claiming to be "the Christian Voice in the Nation's Capital," the members vociferously oppose the idea of a Palestinian state. They fear an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza might enable just that, and they object on the grounds that all of Old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews. Until Israel is intact and David's temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won't come back to earth.[/quote]

That, in a nutshell, is their goal: a Greater Israel that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates (so it's actually larger than Old Testament Israel) and a reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem. Their reasoning is not so much theological as magical. By bringing about these things, they hope to make Jesus come back. This is sorcery, not eschatology.

I've mentioned this before, but this so-called-theology precisely parallels the plot of many an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Zealous fanatics loyal to some secretive prophecy try to bring about the signs that will summon their master and bring about the apocalypse and the death of nearly everyone on earth. (Buffy and the gang, contra the Apostolic Congress, regard this as a Bad Thing that should be stopped.)

Leila

Who knows about the Greater Israel plot -seems too wild to be true, but these days anything's possible.

My concern is that the Bushies - and the neo-cons - will try to blame the entire Iraq affair on that shady, duplicitous Arab, Ahmed Chalabi. You know those Arabs, can't trust even the clean shaven ones. If they speak good English, so much the worse.

(Chalabi really is a crook, IMHO - I know his niece and even she thinks so).

But the drum beats against Chalabi might be serving to deflect responsibility from the legions of officials in the USA who chose to believe him, promoted him, and ignored the warnings of those who decried him. Hey, it's Ahmed's fault! Bad ARab!

Raymond Bridge

"...how he could possibly have maintained his position as the administration's favorite Iraqi for so long in the face of a nearly unblemished record of error and deceit over the years."

For the neocons in DOD, this would never have posed a problem. One should remember that their own record over the years parallels Chalabi's rather nicely.

Remember that their trial run for attacking the CIA's intelligence, setting up their own group to directly obtain and interpret raw intelligence, and all the rest was two decades before when the subject was the Soviet military capability. They came up with bogus intelligence and ideological interpretations to prove that the Soviets posed a far greater strategic threat than the CIA analysis showed.

As with Iraq, the CIA was dead wrong, of course, but the neocons were egregiously wrong -- on every count! The CIA vastly overestimated the Soviet capability, and the neocons multiplied that overestimation by an order of magnitude. And then, as with Iraq, they just ignored the fact that they were wrong, and trundled merrily on.

With a sufficiently strong ideological committment and a high enough level of arrogance, being wrong is never a problem. It doesn't matter how much suffering or how many strategic defeats your errors may cause. True believers with gargantuan egos just keep rolling along.

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