Friday, October 28, 2005

Remember the Lusitania!

I haven't seen this point made before, so I thought I'd bring it up. If this administration had done even a mediocre job of occupying and rebuilding Iraq, nobody would give two shits that they lied us into it. Nobody would really care about Valerie Plame. This investigation could have been handed to a political hack and nobody would have paid any attention.

The only reason they are paying a price for their dishonesty is their incompetence.

7 comments:

Studiodave said...

Incompetence is how I describe the people that do our purchasing.

Starting a war in the middle east, when we are already fighting unprovoked radicalism, somehow incompetence seems pale....

Otto Man said...

Alright, I'm going to ask -- what's with the title?

The captain of the Lusitania was incompetent, right? Is that it?

InanimateCarbonRod said...

The Lusitania was a passenger ship sunk by the German U-Boats. It was portrayed as an innocent victim, but it was actually a passenger ship that was secretly moving arms for the Brits (along with the innocent civilians), making the ship a legitimate wartime target. The arms moving wasn't revealed until after WWII, however. It was held up as an example of the horribleness of the Nazis in propaganda. Of course, nobody today really cares about it. The government lied, but the Nazis were pretty fucking bad, so it's a wash.

Otto Man said...

Gotcha. Except the Lusitania was sunk in 1915. I don't think the Nazis figured into the story much, unless they perfected time-traveling technology. (Damn you, Hitler! Damn you to hell!)

Thrillhous said...

I think that the Lusitania thing is a Condi reference. Back when she appeared before the 9/11 commission, she did a filibustery kinda deal where she described every hostile military action since 1870.

I think you're half right, Irod. Yes, if Iraq had gone the way they told us it would go, nobody would care about the lying. I'm sure FDR did plenty of sketchy things during WW2, but since we won it didn't matter a whole lot.

However, I don't think we can assume that it was possible for the Iraq adventure to ever be a success. (My thinking on this matter was much influenced by Rosenfeld's and Yglesias' The Incompetence Dodge article.) There was no way Iraq was going to turn out the way the admin wanted; it was just a fool's errand.

Thrillhous said...

D'oh! You guys talked out the Lusitania thing while I was composing my brilliaht comment.

From Wikipedia:

The RMS Lusitania was an ocean liner of the British Cunard Steamship Lines.

The ship was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat on May 7, 1915, on her 202nd crossing of the Atlantic. The incident played a role in the United States' entry into World War I. American President Woodrow Wilson, who was officially promising to keep the US out of the war, may have falsely claimed that the Lusitania was a wrongful victim, if indeed the ship had been carrying munitions as the Germans claimed.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

WWI, WWII, what's the difference?