Thursday, October 12, 2023

Big Brained Boys

I won't claim "smart" people are easier to con (and by "smart" I mean people whose self-conception is that they are smart), but I suspect that once you hook them they stop wriggling and let you reel them in. Can't fool me, I'm a big brained boy! No way I can be conned!

I probably relate too much back to the Iraq war era - we all have our formative experiences- but it is why most of the Iraq war mea culpas were not really apologies to all the dead people, but instead  reflections on how I, a big brain, could have possibly been fooled? How did my big brain let me down? Almost unthinkable.

The most hilarious one was Will Saletan's. His big regret was not that he helped unleash mass death, but that in letting himself be fooled, he had unwittingly contributed to the current crisis facing us: our unwillingness to go to war with Iran.
Consider the opportunity cost. The problem with dumb war isn't that it's war. The problem is that it costs you the military, economic, and political resources to fight a smart war. Everything Bush wrongly attributed to Iraq turns out to be true of Iran. But we can't confront Iran with the force it probably requires, because we wasted our resources in Iraq. Americans, having been suckered in Iraq, won't accept evidence of Iran's nuclear program. Countries that might have supported us in a strike on Iran won't do so now, since we led them astray. Our coffers have been emptied to pay for the Iraq occupation. Our troops are physically and spiritually exhausted. In the name of strength, Bush has made us weak.
For reasons (made up or not) I can't even remember at the moment, the Usual Suspects were talking up scary Iran, just like they did with scary Iraq, except without 9/11 to boost them.  Big Brain Boy Will was eager to get conned once again!  

"Americans," having been suckered in Iraq, are now stupid, unlike Will, who is incapable of learning.