Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

All Show And No Go

I am a car enthusiast. My current debt of enthusiasm is a 1988 Mazda 323 GT and my primary enthusiastic goal is to deliver this venerable old champ beyond it's mildly impressive performance to a level that I, my brother (co-conspirator and techno-wizard in my automotive enthusiasm) and friends call "disgustingly fast." The secondary goal is to restore the car to such a fashion that it presents an asthetically pleasing image. Note the priorities:

1. Fast.

2. Pretty.

There is a saying amongst those that like to propel steel and rubber to ridiculous extremes. This saying reflects upon the quasi-enthusiast who dresses his car up for the prom yet ignores all the mechanical, electrical, and so on elements that truly make the date. In essence, the car looks fast but isn't. A bit like buying an incredibly sexy dress for Helen Thomas or Oscar DeLahoya.

"All show and no Go."

And so when I read of Hillary Clinton's foreign policy initiative via Sic Semper Tyrannis I am immediately driven to conclude; all Show and no Go. Senator Clinton certainly provides an attractive framework for stabalizing Iraq:

"As president, I will convene a
regional stabilization group composed of key allies, other global
powers, and all the states bordering Iraq. Working with the newly
appointed UN special representative for Iraq, the group will be charged
with developing and implementing a strategy for achieving a stable Iraq
that provides incentives for Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey to
stay out of the civil war."

Like the good colonel I find nothing here I disagree with principly, but the entire feasibility factor weighs heavy. An attempt to realize any sort of concilience between Iran and Turkey beyond the PKK seems a bit of a reach. Jordan might be a possibility but the Sauds, given Iran's rather aggressive stance as of late will be unlikely to be a proactive member of any coalition to abstain from involvement. More likely all see an unstable Iraq as a proxy means of regional influence.

Further, the idea that we'll rally the allied troops to the cause (one assumes Sen. Clinton is focusing on our NATO alliance) is equally worrying. Nevermind both the British standdown in Iraq and the recent escalation of Turkish-American tensions over Kurdistan and the "bad timing" of the Armenian genocide bill. What interest would any sane NATO (or otherwise) country have in replacing American elements in a war that the hypothetical President promised to abandon? Is Senator Clinton imagining a future (a mere year or so from now) in which Iraq is stable enough to appreciate an international reconstruction program while American forces are redeploying? Or is she reliant on the naive thought that a reduction of American forces won't leave a power vaccuum and accelerate a sectarian civil war?

Don't get me wrong, I've long talked of leaving Iraq to stabilize itself instead of providing a virtual bottle neck to what would be a full blown civil war otherwise. But the idea that we can realize stability through the Senators prospective provisions is lost on me. Sounds great but seems impossible. All Show, no Go.

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Adrian said...

Saying "we'll leave Iraq, and whatever happens happens" is politically impossible. The talking heads would brand her "unserious" which might cripple her campaign (as her primary advantage is her "seriousness"). Sitting all interested parties down at a table to talk about stuff while we withdraw troops does two things:

a) political cover for withdrawal,
b) it might actually be useful in dealing with 'seconadary' concerns, like refugees, etc.

deichmans said...

Ahhhhh... Memories of my 1979 Mustang 5.0 -- and how she roared after I dropped a new engine in and rebuilt my Venturi carburetor.

The oxidized metallic-burgundy paint was the least of my worries. Fast trumps pretty! :-)

But did you really have to pair "sexy dress" with "Helen Thomas"? Especially at dinner time....

Jay@Soob said...


I'll reiterate: the principle of Senator Clinton's proposal makes perfect sense. What I'm seeking is the "How."

"Sitting people down" is a nicety. A colorfully wrapped candy for the average Joe. I want the "How." I want to know what initiatives she's going to put forth that grab and pull the decidedly divided nations along Iraq's border into a collective for much of anything much less a willful alliance that concentrates on Iraqi sovereignty rather than proxy interests.


Damn, brother, if only the Maz had a carburator and a simple V-8! Boost, boost retardant for the ignition (MSD to be installed soon) what size intake, fuel controller, fuel rail, blah, blah, blah the turbo charged engine is a bitch to work with. Ah but the rewards.

200+ horsepower (at the wheel) from a 1.6 liter engine mounted in a 2000 lb car. Wait, no, a 2000 lb car with plenty of oxidized black paint, an ugly thing.

Apologies for inflicting Helen Thomas in a daring costume upon you and yours during dining hours. Sometimes "shock value" trumps sensitivity...

Adrian said...

A failed state in Iraq isn't in any of Iraq's neighbors' interests. I think that will be the crucial fact that brings them to the table. After all we're already dealing with Iran and Syria one on one. We have decent relations with all of Iraq's other neighbors. We have leverage (economic goodies we can exchange for talks). It's doable.