Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Modest Pantloadal

Please, o great and omniscient Flying Spaghetti Monster, please for the love of You give us a sign that this legacy moron You created in a drunken stupor Your infinite wisdom is only trying out some inept Swiftian schtick he thinks might get him a piece of half-blind Goucher ass.

I THINK ALL intelligent, patriotic and informed people can agree: It would be great if the U.S. could find an Iraqi Augusto Pinochet. In fact, an Iraqi Pinochet would be even better than an Iraqi Castro.

I think all people paying attention can agree: any one of us has taken at least one dump in our lives with as much common sense as your average Jonah Goldberg column. In fact, I usually find that it expedites the process to drop a deuce while thinking about what passes for thought between Pantload's ears.

But it is something to hear one of the "we gotsta lib'rate these poor downtrodden peoples from their vicious strongman that we useta support" choir suddenly change his tune, and lament the apparent unavailability of another strongman. But this time one we can control, right? One that will assuredly only kill bad people. Like, um, that Saddam fella that Donald Rumsfeld never met. That worked out swell.

Pantload has heard the thing about the golem, hasn't he?

But there are measures besides body counts. Castro took Cuba, once among the most prosperous nations in Latin America and destined for First World status, and rendered it poorer than nearby Jamaica and heading Haiti-ward. The island is a prison, and trying to leave can be a capital crime.

See, this isn't really about what's best for Iraq at all. It's about people who inexplicably get paid to bleg for information with which to form hasty, ridiculous opinions on subjects about which they know precious little. The question has never been whether or not Castro was a bad guy, a hoarder of power and an abuser of his people. He was, no two ways about it. But we have generally found ways to work with such people, at least under the pretense of bringing them around, and we never even tried with Castro. Fifty years of unproductive nonsense has been the result.

So spare us the fake moralizing, smart guy. I'll be goddamned if I've seen anyone on the left, "mainstream" or otherwise, defending Castro or bemoaning his impending demise. This is nothing more than someone who has been consistently, irredeemably wrong in his judgment, grasping at the thinnest of straws, and attempting to build the proverbial man out of them.

I bring all this up because in the wake of Pinochet's death (and Jeane Kirkpatrick's), the old debate over conservative indulgence of Pinochet has elicited shrieking from many on the left claiming that any toleration of Pinochet was inherently immoral — their own tolerance of Castro notwithstanding.

But these days, there's a newfound love for precisely this sort of realpolitik. Consider Jonathan Chait, who recently floated a Swiftian proposal that we put Saddam Hussein back in power in Iraq because, given his track record of maintaining stability and recognizing how terrible things could get in Iraq, Hussein might actually represent the least-bad option. Even discounting his sarcasm, this was morally myopic. But it seems to me, if you can contemplate reinstalling a Hussein, you'd count yourself lucky to have a Pinochet.

And that's exactly what all these Serious Thinkers are going to end up doing. Hell, they'll settle for an Idi Amin, so long as he doesn't interfere with the oil production.


Anonymous said...

Gee, it sounds like he's suggesting that Saddam was the right thing for Iraq, after all, doesn't it, because his goal sounds exactly like what Iraq had about six years ago. So he must have been screaming really loudly against the Iraq Conquest before "we" went in, right?

theBhc said...

You're giving Goldberg way too much credit. The little he knows is hardly precious at all.