Showing posts from June 17, 2006

Brother, can you spare a tipping point?

In case you haven't, please read my recent The Ever Elusive 'Tipping Point' in Iraq in which I make among other things the following point(s): The problem that Mr. Bush is facing in Iraq – the point that never seems to tip – has to do with the entire faulty strategy that led to the invasion of Iraq. When it comes to civil and international wars, their "tipping point," the one that marks the victory of one side over the other, is actually the outcome of a process consisting of three stages. First, one side is being crushed on the battlefield and is unable to fight anymore. Then the defeated party raises the white flag. And finally, the losing side "embraces defeat" and agrees to accept the political terms imposed by the winner. In Iraq, the United States was able to crush one element, Saddam and his military, representing the interests of the Arab-Sunni minority. But the Arab-Sunnis have never raised the white flag and have certainly not embraced defeat.

More challenges to "Brooksism"

Daniel Larison in Eunomia discusses some of the problems and inconsistencies in David Brooks' new political-ideological split of "pop-nats" vs. "prog-globs." Among other things he suggests that: Note how Brooks has defined determining trade policies in the light of national interest or maintaining a domestic industrial base (the sorts of policies that he, as a prog-glob, despises) as "liberal" economics (as Brooks is relying on the phrase "liberal on economics" to scare the well-to-do to side with the prog-globs), whereas policies dedicated to shoring up the interests of the extensive bureaucratic machinery of multinational corporations and international governing institutions are allegedly "market-oriented." You don't need to think on that much to see that the prog-glob embrace of "market-oriented" policies is a corrupt and distorted one that aims to use certain mechanisms of "the market" to expand their co