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Good Reads, Politics

Iraq’s Underpants Gnomes: Step Two

I am reading Salam Pax’s web log and he is whining about how bungling and inept the American administration is now that it has control of his country, and about how scarey it is that despite all their claims of preparedness to the contrary they haven’t a clue what they’re doing, as if they only said these things to justify their presence there, and I’m starting to think that Salam sounds awfully lot like an American.

Our entire nation went through what sounds like a state of “military administration” when it went into a Total War economy to fight World War II. The stories we get now, somewhat removed from the actual events, is that while our nation was organized for the noblest intentions, it was Hell to live through this well-intentioned bureacracy on the ground. We went through it, though, because defeating fascism and Japanese imperialism seemed worthwhile. That, and it probably beat the Depression.

I am reminded of the Underpants Gnomes, who appeared on an episode of “South Park”, who had a great master plan to justify their nightly sortees of underpants theft:

  1. Steal underpants.
  2. …?
  3. Profit!

We read it at the time as an allegory for the dot-com boom, which has since gone bust. I can look at it now as the story for Iraq. I just hope the noble intentions leave enough room for something that could profit the people there. For now, though, let us acknowledge that Step Two can be Hell live through.

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Categories: Good Reads, Politics