The American Problem in Iraq

Bush’s Iraq ploy was an Ariel Sharon “facts-on-the-ground” Humpty Dumpty strategy. Basically he said, “If I don’t succeed, I’ll fuck things up so badly that no one else can fix them either”.
The “can do” natural optimism of Americans works against them. It makes them suckers for adventurists like Cheney and Bush, it makes them punish the bearers of bad news, and makes them unable to support a “cut the losses” policy when appropriate.
TV, gated communities, malls and the political churches enable people to live in a bubble of cheerfulness. This does NOT prevent them from being paranoid: when optimism is threatened, scapegoating and witchhunts begin.
(Slightly edited comment posted on Brad Delong Nov. 9, 2005, 9:39 PM.)