Monday, May 5, 2008

Meanwhile, in the World

I sometimes have the uncanny feeling that some unfortunate grad student is going to be researching blogs like mine in the future, not for the literary quality, but as a symptom of the appalling nature of the times: "The neo-domesticity movement reflects a turning inward toward the private sphere as a distraction from the bourgeois liberal writers' own silent complicity in world events..." Mr. Flossie and I just watched a documentary called No End in Sight, the clearest, most concise summary of the first five years of the Iraq War I've seen. Like a great many people, I didn't support the invasion; the justifications seemed absurd even at the time. But I never fully realized how the quagmire we are now in is the result of some spectacularly incompetent decisions made by a group of three or four people at the top of the Bush administration after the occupation began. And sadly, there were plenty of people in the military and the Pentagon who were experienced and knowledgeable and could have helped, but their expertise was arrogantly waved off.

What emerges is much like Hannah Arendt's banality of evil thesis from her book Eichmann in Jerusalem. Except the banality here is not in following orders, but in the people giving the orders, the war's orchestrators.

I felt a stab of guilt to be writing blog posts about my cozy home life when a country has turned to rubble. Clearly it's not enough to vote, it's not enough to write one's senator, it's not enough to donate to Move On...but what does one do? What to say to the future grad student trying to understand why we seemed so compliant?

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