Thursday, January 19, 2006

I Don't Mean to Say Neo-Cons Are Incontinent, But . . .

I know most of y'all read Digby anyway, but I really liked his ending to a recent contemplation of our problems with Iran as a result of our invasion of Iraq.
Immature political thinkers that they are, the Bush administration and the neo-con cabal had been aching to prove America's manhood (and their own) to the world for so long that they prematurely ejaculated. Now we are spent, at least for a time, and the whole world knows it.
My feelings exactly. I think it's easy to devolve into petty ad hominems when you try talk about manliness issues in politics, but I strongly believe that those kinds of issues need to be addressed in the context of our recent foreign policy adventures. How much of our Iraq strategy, and our war on terror policy in general, has to do with our leading power players' sense of manhood? Am I way off on this? Is this something that can be addressed without getting into a pointless "you're less of a man than I am" shouting match?


InanimateCarbonRod said...


Otto Man said...

How much of our Iraq strategy, and our war on terror policy in general, has to do with our leading power players' sense of manhood? Am I way off on this?

Remember Commander Codpiece's victory strut on the aircraft carrier? 'Nuff said.

Smitty said...

Read the book "The Sorrows of Empire" by Chalmers Johnson. That book, I think, sums up where our total policy is short-sighted. I don't think it has much (though some) to do with Biggus Dickus. I think it is how our defense spending and placement of military bases is used for economic gain, not for actual security. It's been mis-run and overspent, and Iran is just one of the points where it collapses. Iraq and Iran were the last real place we needed to surround with bases to horde the oil from the Chinese....and because that's a decision based not on real foreign policy but on capitalist strategy, it falls apart here and now. I worry that the only way we go now, in terms of our glorious empire, is the way of the Brits. The sun sets, because we used our Empire for money.

Here's a link to the book on Amazon:

Thrillhous said...

Nice Monty Python reference, Smitty. Life of Brian is about the only MP work that I can stand.

I forgot about the codpiece. I have to say, if I'm ever president I'll be wearing one of those 24/7.

Hmm. Now that I think about it, there was the thing where Bush had Saddam's personal pistol gold plated and hung on his wall. What would Freud say . . . .

sideshow bob said...

Incontinent...ha, that's rich!

S.W. Anderson said...

Interesting question, but I tend to think it's got more to do with a combination of upbringing and genetic predisposition. Social milieu and life experience play a part, too.

Nearly all societies have had a strong element of hunter/predator/warrior types. They are the adventurous risk takers. They are the "men of honor" who get proactive if they think they've been insulted or even slighted. No doubt some are covering for inner fears about inadequacy, but not all.

In one form, they are the jocks who go on to the military academies or become Marines and Special Forces troops. Or, they may become cops, especially SWAT officers. In another, they become gang bangers.

Hell, any more they may become CEOs. "Chainsaw" Al Dunlop certainly fit the mold.

Historically, among national leaders, Chamberlain and Churchill provide a perfect contrast.

But it's deeply psychological and not an easy thing to assess. For example, by every logical measure, Dwight Eisenhower and Colin Powell should've been hard-nosed hawks, very prone to act out militarily if provoked. Yet at the height of their careers, both were extremely averse to going to war. How very different they were from Curtis LeMay and Douglas MacArthur.

As for Bush and Cheney, I suspect it's more a matter of them being determined to be regarded as people you don't want to mess with.

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