THE BLOG
12/17/2006 09:37 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

How I Feel When They Say: "What Should We Do In Iraq NOW?"

I feel like I would if I had been, say, a junior associate in the company that designed and built the Titanic. When I first saw the plans for the ship (this might correspond, in Mesopotamian terms, to the US organized coup that replaced a legitimate, secular government in Iran with a brutal dictator back in 1953), I sent an urgent memo to the bosses explaining why the whole concept is a mistake.

At each stage of the construction of the vessel, I spoke out against it, explaining over and over, and in great technical detail, why the project is doomed.

But to no avail.

When the ship was finally launched, I was able to persuade the powers that be, by dint of a last desperate memo, to take a South Atlantic route - given the time of year. I explained about the multiplier effects of momentum for the umpteenth time, but this time it seemed like I finally got through (Bush going to the UN (or pretending to) before the Iraq invasion).

But as the Titanic leaves harbor and sails out to sea (with me on it), I overhear the Captain and senior management reverse that decision and set sail for northern waters instead. I beg and plead and yell and scream, but they are bloated with hubris, convinced of the epochal invincibility of their project.

When the Titanic hits the iceberg and begins to sink, just as I had predicted all along, they turn on me in rage and frustration, because at THAT point I have nothing much to suggest, besides obvious things about efficient lifeboat deployment. "How irresponsible of you," they say. "Stop playing the blame game, step up to the plate - tell us your plan for success, tell us what we should do NOW?"

"Uh, well, let's see..." I reply, "How about I take tenor and you take bass for a chorus of Rock of Ages?"