Your Lying Eyes

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22 August 2006

A Psychosis in Need of a Name

Note: Updated Below
Is there a feline condition where a cat develops a fear of mice? It's hard to imagine it, but perhaps it could be caused by a microbe like Toxoplasma Gondii which causes rats to lose their fear of cats. I'm asking because perhaps some such microbe is spreading among pundits commenting on the Mideast.

Today in the Washington Post, op-edist Richard Cohen sees clear parallels in the Mideast today with Europe in 1938
when World War II loomed, Britain -- especially and importantly Britain -- did precious little to stop it. The warnings of Churchill -- "believe me, it may be the last chance . . ." -- were ignored, and the government under Neville Chamberlain obstinately pursued a policy that forever after made the word appeasement one of the most odious in history. Somehow, though, it looks like 1938 all over again.
Oh yeah, just like it. In 1938 you had a fully-mobilized industrial power building an awesome military arsenal and annexing its neighbors. Similarly, in Lebanon, we have Hezbollah -
you don't have to have Churchillian prescience to see that what happened once in Lebanon can happen again. Hezbollah's avowed aim is to eradicate Israel. Listen to what it says. Pay attention. It will renew its attacks the first chance it gets. This is why it exists.
Just reading these snippets you might think Mr. Cohen is being ironic, but deadly serious he is.

Meanwhile, at TCS, Arnold Kling delusionally claims to be tapping into a nascent populist movement. Here's how he sees its take on the Mideast:
My sense is that popular opinion is likely to gravitate toward one of two positions.

(1)The Middle East is a hopeless cauldron of hatred. We should focus on homeland security, stay out of the Middle East, and have as little interaction with the Muslim world as possible; or

(2)A major war is inevitable, so that we need to get ready for it. Nothing else will stop Iranian aggression, and nothing else will stifle the funding, sponsoring, and glorification of terrorists.
Iranian aggression? What Iranian aggression? He goes on:
In my own thinking, I tend to vacillate between (1) and (2). The advantage of (2) is that it helps align our interests with the UK and Israel, which are not in a position to adopt (1). The UK, with its larger and more radical Muslim population, necessarily is affected by international Muslim belligerence. For Israel, staying out of the Middle East is not an option.
Okay, so at least Arnold doesn't appear to think that the U.S. is threatened by Iran. But the UK? Because of their "large" muslim population? Fighting a war against Iran is supposed to help that situation how? But regardless, the UK could just expel a good chunk of that population if they should feel threatened - but, no, easier to just have a war. At least he says he's ambivalent - though I must say my cat isn't at all ambivalent about how he feels about mice - he's pretty sure they're prey, and not the other way around.

Iran is not a threat. We should not let them develop atomic weapons - but that's true of any country not yet nuclear. Fighting a war with them is one way to prevent it, but surely the least desirable. And Hezbollah is most certainly not a threat - a nuisance for Israel, yes, but not a threat to Israel, never mind Europe or America. Mexico - which annually sends a million of its least desirable citizens, including drug smugglers and gang members, across the border - presents a far more serious threat to the U.S. than Hezbollah does to Israel, yet we have managed to refrain from bombing any of Mexico's infrastructure. Perhaps the CDC could look into this illness, before it becomes a truly frightening pandemic.

Update: The psychosis has leapt across the pond (via Drudge). The money quote:
But, alas, there's nothing which we would recognise as 'reasonable' about President Ahmadinejad, the small, bearded blacksmith's son from the slums of Tehran - who denies the existence of the Holocaust, promises to 'wipe Israel off the map' and who, moreover, urges Iranians to 'prepare to take over the world'.
Now, if you haven't, read Steve Sailer's latest review of the Iranian armed forces. Then consider the last line of this article, and I challenge you to keep from laughing:
But nuclear-weapon technology in the hands of an Iranian President obsessed with ' fruitcake theology' and the destruction of all 'infidels' is something which should keep us all awake at night.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'd be better off if Iran had a couple of small fission bombs. I figure it would save us more than a trillion dollars.

August 23, 2006 2:31 AM  
Blogger YIH said...

Has anyone wondered WHY iran and n. korea seem to be quite arrogant lately?
Because they don't NEED the NYT, CNN, ect., ect., to figure out we are completely bogged down in iraq!!!
They see us SHIFTING AROUND (as opposed to ADDING) forces in a desprate attempt to try to quell the violence in Bagdahd.
They keep hearing bush say ''WE WILL NEVER LEAVE IRAQ!!! EVER!!!''
And they realize ''Why should we concern ourselves with America? They are too tied up with iraq to be any real threat to us''...

August 23, 2006 5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if the final numbers have yet been crunched, but near the end of the recent fighting some people computed that Israel suffered one death for every 100 Hezbollah missiles fired. I can't think of a more comically inept weapons system. You probably have a higher kill rate in fistfights.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

August 23, 2006 11:14 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

"You probably have a higher kill rate in fistfights."

Maybe not in Haifa.

August 23, 2006 11:36 PM  

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