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Max Fraad Wolff

Max Fraad Wolff

Posted: September 11, 2007 04:44 PM

Reality Gap


As Iraq moves in and out of focus, a reality gap has emerged. The line between wishful thinking, feel-good prognostication and assessment has blurred far and fast. On September 10 -- nice neutral choice of date -- America heard from General Petraeus. Many waited on the edge of their seats to watch this man, sworn to loyalty to President Bush, report on his own mission. What? The huge build-up was propaganda theatre. Waiting and investing faith in a premature assessment of a 4.5-year-old dismal failure by a man sworn to serve the architect of this failure is an insane and pointless activity. Asking a man to faithfully report on the entirely unknowable future course of his own actions is an act of collective delusion. The accuracy and honesty of his report is irrelevant. This report only offers insight into the General's career strategy and how he is presently planning to further seize the "opportunity" available to him in Iraq. There is absolutely nothing else you could rationally hope to learn.

None of this is about rational assessment. The complex and contradictory motives for war were so fully lied about that they never saw the light of day. Disinterested and thin hype coated endless helpings of BS covered over with red, white and blue, patriotic whipped-cream. Millions bought into it because they wanted to and it was easy and rewarded behavior. It is just the latest in a long series of similar and similarly sad sagas. The failure was more dramatic, the deceptions were tired old standards. That is how and why anyone burdened with a passing knowledge of the region, situation, nation, history was screaming out that this was a terrible idea in 2002. These concerns did not merit the attention of our leaders. Political, business and opinion leaders -- with notable exceptions -- dismissed and ridiculed doubters. In a different way they still do.

We all must wait on their opinions as fact. Why? Everything they have told has proven deception, delusion or mistaken. We know that every time we have heard reports from DOD, State, select Think Tankers and Administration aligned gentlemen that are upbeat they prove untrue. We know that honest assessment has earned many immediate dismissal and career stagnation. We know they don't know how to win an asserted ultimate prize in Iraq that changes more often than the toy in a happy meal and is usually less valuable than said toy. Why do we follow and take the game seriously? The careful waiting and painstaking reporting of each detail and opinion is the problem. It is entirely absurd and insane behavior. I am not just pointing fingers -- what is this article about?

Buying the war, the war reports and the war experts is not over. This is part of the reason that the war is not over. Our bloody failures on the streets of Iraq are the produce of the way we see politics and war. They will not change without a broader change in how we see our global political role and our authorities. That is why it is so dangerous to lose a war. That is also why it is hard to confront that a war has been lost. That is why continuing to fight and lose is preferred by those whose principle objective is their political and economic position. Listening to them now will furnish all the insight, wisdom and policy success their vision got you in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007! Years of lies and failures are the only real progress report we have. Do you think the jury is still out? What other report or pronouncement are you waiting for? How obediently will you wait? How carefully will you hang on every precious word?