Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

November 4, 2007

No End in Sight

Filed under: film, politics — Tags: — codesmithy @ 7:50 am

“No End in Sight” is a film that explores the Iraq War, in particular the failure of Iraq reconstruction. The film doesn’t offer tremendous new insight for those that have read other works on the Iraq War, however, it does serve as a good summary for those who haven’t been paying attention. The interviews are excellent and it is good to see the faces and variety of perspectives of people who were there. What is also telling are those who refused to interviewed, which the film notifies the viewer at various points throughout.

The previous criticisms of the Bush administration stand: failure to plan, failure to listen, emphasis on managing perceptions over fixing the problems, marginalization of critics and just general brazen hubris and incompetence.

The film doesn’t offer any answers. At this point, the only way to describe the situation is a quagmire. There are a few things we could do to help, namely get the Iraqi people working again. However, it might very well be the case of too little too late. The U.S. seems to have already spent all the initial political capital and goodwill. Not that there was necessarily a tremendous amount of it to begin with, nevertheless, there was definitely some.

My one complaint with the movie is that tends to focus too much on the tactical errors that were made, however the underlying strategic error may have been pre-existing have had nothing to do with the mismanagement of the aftermath of the war. Namely, installing a democracy in Iraq will lead to a government that the U.S. doesn’t like. Much of the friction recently seems to be over that question: what should a sovereign, democratically elected government do versus what does the U.S. want the government to do? Certainly, there have been events that have radicalized the population against the U.S. However, the idea that Iraq would transform into a secular, liberal, Western democracy overnight and will defer to the United States on all issues is lunacy. I don’t want to downplay democracy because I do think the fundamental equality of man is a universal value. However, a democracy and a government that will be subordinate to the United States are two separate issues, and I think it is harder to get the two to coincide. If one political end is going to give, it has to be the latter.

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