Wednesday, October 20, 2004
seeing all of iraq
irony, in the aftermath of world war one, has become the outlook of western man. virtually everything we observe we see in the light of irony, futility, and ultimately self-defeat. any social observer has to admit that optimism is a rare commodity these days -- and that goes double for the news, where optimism is usually seen as shameful.
As I wrote a while back, the problem with the constant barrage of coverage on the latest mortar attack or car bombing is that it's not only a ceaseless assault of bad news, but it's both unrepresentative (because it's only the bad news) and, just as bad, it's probably the wrong bad news. If there are serious things going wrong, they're not so much that people who don't like us are trying to attack us, as that more serious things (like the CERP matter I've mentioned here regularly) are going unaddressed.
but there is a blindness in irony, and i fear we are suffering for it in iraq. as a matter of reason, we should be able to see that not everything that is happening in iraq is awful -- indeed, one can see, if one looks, that many of the changes taking place there are treasured by many of those they are happening to. but that isn't an impression you'd get by reading american newspapers.
does that mean i support our imperial affair in iraq? god, no. but i can acknowledge as a reasoning man that, against whatever has been awful, some good has come of it.