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Sunday, September 14, 2003

Getting Out of Hand

Good god, this one doesn't look too good for the US. As someone who doesn't 'hate' any country, I find it strange why so many Bush supporters ask those who would try to help their country straighten up this mess 'why they hate the US so much'. Countries, as such, don't interest me too much. Simple accidents of birth. Cultures, I love them. And I try to respect all of them.

Update Monday: Two further reports over the weekend only serve to add to the rapidly complicating picture. Firstly, this reort on US troop casualties makes very grim reading. Secondly even US voters are themselves having doubts about how much money to put into Iraq. Going back for a moment to Kurzweil's principal of acceleration, what took years to work its way through the system at the time of the Vietnam war, now only seems to need months, or even days.

Over at Fistful of Euros Tobias has a good reflective piece on Blair and the ISC report. I joined in the comments section, suggesting that Blair is now 'a marked man' at least politicically speaking.

My feeling is that once you've taken a hit as big as this it's incredibly difficult to get back to where you once were. Normally each time you keep making matters worse. I think he's gone past what Gladwell calls the 'tipping point'.

The Hoon affair, and now the straw memo simply end up throwing more wood on the fire. Who knows what the actual substance is behind many of these accusations. I am certainly not trying to say they are all well founded. Rather I am trying to indicate that when doubts are put in people's minds, and the bandwagon starts rolling, it is very difficult to stop. Then the problem is that the person the spotlight is on tries to use 'the apparatus of power' to ease the pressure (remember Clinton and Lewinsky) and things simply go from bad to worse. This, at least, is the impression I have of where we are now. If the Iraq situation continues to deteriorate this can only get worse. Of course the whole thing has a tragi-comic dimension. The issue is really a bloody serious one, but - the Bristish press being the British press - it is almost guaranteed to acquire the air of a sort of 'Lady Di' scandal. This is where British public life is very different from the US version. Even our patriotism has a 'yes prime minister' flavour to it.

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