“Blinded by the Light.”

"And some kidnapped handicap was complainin’ that he caught the clap from some mousetrap he bought last night, Well I unsnapped his skull cap and between his ears I saw a gap but figured he’d be all right
He was just blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Oh but mama that’s where the fun is…"  Bruce Springsteen

A poet for our time.  PL


Blindedbythelight ""There’s no doubt that the sectarian tensions are higher than we’ve seen, and it’s a great concern to all of us," Abizaid told the Senate committee, adding that the situation in Iraq is "changing [in] nature from insurgency toward sectarian violence." Asked about that comment after the briefing, Abizaid said that "sectarian violence is a greater concern for us security-wise right now than the insurgency.""  Tyson in Washpost.

Does Abizeid really believe this?  He is an intelligent man, and experienced in the Middle East.  He has been involved in the war in Iraq from the beginning.   It would be re-assuring to think that he is being disingenuous here and that this is just an attempt to be supportive of the administration’s efforts in his theater of operations.  If he really believes this, then the implication is that he:

1- Thought/thinks that the rebels(insurgents) were/are a small band of holdouts and social nihilists who were likely to "die out."

2- That the self same small bands of "nihilist" criminals have/had no popular support.

3- That the religious component in the foreign and/or Iraqi components of the "nihilist" gangs are/were not genuine and that therefore the internal warfare that has plagued Iraq does not amount to either civil war or "sectarian violence."

Can it really be (rhetorical question) that Abizeid, Rummy, Rice, Pace et al are so "blinded by the light," by the luminescent and obvious truth of what faces us in Iraq that they actually do not understand the catastrophe approaching?

Pat Lang


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8 Responses to “Blinded by the Light.”

  1. Babak Makkinejad says:

    They are drinking kool-aid.

  2. W. Patrick Lang says:

    You are right. Many still are. pl

  3. Paul says:

    I will not say that it has died completely. I still have faith and hope that intellectual and professional honesty still exists within the senior military ranks…but this administration has made it very clear what happens to those who disagree. They all remember what happened hope lies in the junior ranks now.

  4. ali says:

    How does Rumsfeld continue to get such a soft ride on this? We have an Iraqi army that’s divided at a unit level on sectarian lines and an Interior Ministry staffed by Badr and it’s now apparent that none of these guys are going to fight their own people. The Iraqis are as scared of their security forces as of the militias and are forming more militias as a result.
    What does Abizaid mean by “our help”? If the “sectarian violence” is the biggest problem are we going to do more than hide in our bases the next time it escalates. Are we now going to try to carry out a peace and stability operation in the middle of a firefight? Does “our help” mean advisors, artillery, armor, airstrikes or is KBR just going to dig the mass graves?

  5. alex says:

    BBC correspondent Simpson had a interesting article on BBC. Sounds appropriate to our situation in Iraq now. Compares the 1978 Iran.
    ” At the time I often used to visit the highly intelligent and generous British ambassador in Tehran at the time, Sir Anthony Parsons. He insisted that the Shah would survive, and he assured the British government that this would happen.
    Afterwards, with characteristic honesty, he wrote a book about why he got it wrong. The main reason was that his information came from the Shah’s own ministers. It was too dangerous for his own diplomats to spend much time in the streets, finding out what was happening.
    But the journalists could see for themselves that the revolutionaries were building up an unstoppable momentum.
    It gives me no pleasure today to forecast further doom and gloom here in Iraq. But, as in Iran in 1978, the facts on the street contradict the assertions of the generals, the politicians and the diplomats. ”

  6. searp says:

    I don’t think they actually care too much what they say at this point, because the Iraq conflict will soon morph into a wider conflict with Iran, and they are probably planning that right now.
    My bet is that they have already written off Iraq except as a theater in a wider war.

  7. ked says:

    “I still have faith and hope that intellectual and professional honesty still exists within the senior military ranks…”
    really? I don’t see even a shadow of Billy Mitchell emerging out of Iraq & Afg today. These stars will NOT be recalled for their vision & courage.

  8. searp says:

    There is only one tribe who is likely to be hated by all concerned.
    It is a mess. Sunnis shooting at Shia who are shooting at Kurds except.. except when they are all shooting at us.

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