Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Crawling through a Narrow Tunnel

Max Sawicky quotes Joe Biden, Harry Reid, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats with the same message: Bush has screwed up in Iraq, but we have no choice but to carry through to the bitter end.

The analogy that comes to mind is this: Suppose you are exploring a creepy, dark, narrow tunnel. At some point, it becomes too narrow to turn around in. You continue forward, crawling on your hands and knees, or even on your belly, past spiders and rats and bats and other miscellaneous yucky cave dwellers. It's tough going, but you have convinced yourself that you must go forward if you are ever going to get out.

It's a tough call, but sometimes crawling backwards is the better part of valor (or something).


Anonymous Rich said...

The President has made much of how Iraq is full of people who wish us ill, but leaves off the idea that they don't like us largely because we are occupying their country. So the analogy you mention could be expanded: it is as if the very act of crawling through the skinny tunnel is damaging the walls and ceilings of the tunnel, and the more one presses on, the more dire the situation becomes.

Or to save words, we could just call it a quagmire.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Daryl McCullough said...

rich says: The President has made much of how Iraq is full of people who wish us ill, but leaves off the idea that they don't like us largely because we are occupying their country.

Well, the "flypaper" theory assumed that there was a fixed amount of "bad guys" in the world, and that the war in Iraq would draw them there, where we could fight them far from our own homeland. Even assuming that the flypaper theory is correct (some kind of "conservation of evil" law that perhaps can be derived from a symmetry in the Lagrangian?) it's not exactly humanitarian of us to use Iraq as our flypaper. That's basically saying "better dead Iraqis than dead Americans".

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Rich said...

So by that theory, every time a malefactor is executed, some rotten little kid is born somewhere? And maybe the best strategy would be come up with a way to create bad guys living in a nation which is an enemy of ours, since it takes up a bad guy slot and also besets our foes.

It's perhaps not so effective to bring the evildoers/insurgents together in Iraq where they can compare notes, perfect the art of constructing IEDs, and organize. I heard on the radio something about how commanders in the field are going against type by not requesting increases in troops under their command, because the sight of a large occupying force rubs the populace the wrong way.

Oh well, the insurgency is on its last legs anyway, supposedly.

6:43 PM  
Blogger roger said...

Didn't your mother tell you not to crawl through tunnels that lead nowhere?

This, I think, is the moral of your story. The anti-war Dems: the only political group that supports motherhood.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Rich said...

You might be interested in reading how someone believes the flypaper strategy appears to be succeeding in Iraq.

It was posted before the London bombings, but from the comments, the author's upbeat assessment has not changed: "Aren’t you glad that the terrorists blowing up bombs in Iraq, are busy there, rather than in other countries? Isn’t it better having them in Iraq where our army can go after them?" Wow, that seems rather selfish to me.

11:53 PM  

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