The media buzz late this week was how the architects of the Iraq invasion have re-emerged in unison like cicadas, to re-occupy their familiar perches on the television to thrum their familiar high-pitched thrum. Very familiar. It is the thrum of surety. We apparently like that thrum. Somebody must like it. Because their TV perches are still apparently there for the asking.
Maybe cicada is the wrong metaphor. Maybe Pied Piper is more like it. We certainly followed their song and dance right over the cliff. The particulars change, but the surety is in that very familiar register. No more about WMD. Or Saddam in cahoots with al Qaeda. Not so much with the setting up a model democracy that will transform the region and defeat the extremists. And for dessert? Very little cakewalk.
But if you like surety, then these are your guys. How much Iraq is enough? Same as with income for the one-percenters. More. More is always the answer. This despite the fact that he menu listing clearly described ‘a tasty little morsel, sure to delight and satisfy, and at a price that pays for itself’! But then ‘morsel’ morphed into ‘more.’ Unlike the Raven’s nevermore, this became evermore. If we did this one more thing, THEN it would come out right. And this other thing. And then this. And don’t be so impatient, this will take another six months to see results. And then another. Another year, that is. Decade, they meant to say. Half a century, if that’s what it takes. And how many trillion dollars? How many have you got?
As is pretty clear now, this outcome bears not even the remotest resemblance to the policy they initially asked us to buy. That’s a really really bad way to try to make the next sale. For a similar set of wares. I think we’re owed about a decade of apologies before they ask us to even consider more of their geostrategic product line. Did someone say ‘recall’?
I recall something Bush said. Maybe he should come back too, and repeat this: “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”