THE BLOG
12/06/2006 01:57 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Hello? We've Already De-Stabilized it, and Probably Always Will

One of the main reasons we should keep troops in Iraq, the neo-cons say, is that if we leave, it will de-stabilize the Middle East. This is hilarious, considering the fact that it was the Bush administration's boneheaded adventurism that has de-stabilized it already. Only a lunatic would think that bombing and invading a country, destroying its infrastructure, and firing its entire security force would bring stability to the region. If the Bush junta had operated on reason and knowledge instead of ideology, they would have realized that Saddam--as brutal as he was--was the only thing holding together a tripartite nation that never should have been a nation in the first place.

The Bushies still believe, in their breathtaking vanity, that if they intrude more, tinker more, bully more, that it will all get better somehow. They mimic the alcoholic with a hangover who is certain another drink will make everything all right.

Their massive egotism prevents them from seeing that they themselves are what de-stabilizes the Middle East. They love to talk about the 'American Empire'--rather a joke considering that so much of our foreign policy is dictated by Israel and Saudi Arabia (part of the reason it's so confused).

Iraq is a wound that will never heal as long as we keep pouring salt into it. If we leave them alone they'll at least have a chance to come to some sort of resolution. And if they fail, we won't be there to blame for it.

To a degree all political leaders over-estimate the efficacy of action. They invariably feel that taking any action--however ill considered--is better than doing nothing. In this they are heavily influenced by the media, who require action--the more ill considered the better. No action, no mess, no story. Yet when Bobby Kennedy suggested in 1963 that the U.S. do nothing about Vietnam and let the Vietnamese sort out their own destiny, his idea, in hindsight, was simply brilliant.

The United States has, for fifty years, made a career of telling other countries who should lead them, and how; and every single one of these efforts has ultimately blown up in our face. We would not be hated all over Latin America today if we hadn't saddled so many of them for decades with right wing military dictators, repressing every popular movement.

But it isn't just the need to meddle and tinker--it's the ego-maniacal belief that our interventions in the internal affairs of other countries will automatically be good for them, because we're so superior. And our interventions are made even more toxic by the conviction of most American foreign policy makers that the only way to "help" a country is to do violence to it in some way. To bomb it, invade it, assassinate its leaders, orchestrate a military coup, or blockade it. This is characteristic macho thinking, and one of the reasons why "macho" has become a synonym for "stupid".