Monday, March 13, 2006


I was hunting around my archives for something over the weekend and I came across an "amusing" reminder of where our discourse was as we were heading towards Iraq. The name of the author of that reminder was vaguely familiar but I couldn't quite remember why. Today, it clicked. It was Nick Denton of gawker/wonkette/etc... fame.

One could point at the examples of Japan and Germany after the Second World War. But the Muslim world provides its own case study. Ottoman Turkey only began to pay attention to Western science and organization after its first serious military defeats at the hands of Austria and Russia in the 17th and 18th centuries. The US needs to destroy Saddam Hussein's regime because he's a bad man, sure, because he may conceivably be connected with Al-Qaeda, because he's developing weapons of mass destruction, because a friendly Iraq would alter the balance of power in the Middle East, sure, because of all of that. But the US needs to destroy Saddam Hussein's regime mainly because the West needs to humiliate the Arab world, and dispel the Islamic millenial fantasy.