We need to recognize...that Iraq no longer exists as a unified country. In the parts where we can accomplish nothing, we should withdraw. But there are still three missions that may be achievable -- disrupting al-Qaeda, preserving Kurdistan's democracy, and limiting Iran's increasing domination. These can all be served by a modest U.S. presence in Kurdistan. We need an Iraq policy with sufficient nuance to protect American interests. Unfortunately, we probably won't get it.James Galbraith writes:
The function of the government...is to foresee [the] dangers [such as climate change, cultural infantalisation, etc.], and avert them. The powers of the government exist to permit the mobilization of resources required. And only government can hope to do the job.
This is bleak news not only in the present climate of thought, but also given the decay of the public sphere since at least 1981. Whatever government might have been (or seemed) capable of in the 1940s or the 1960s, it plainly is not capable of today. A government that cannot establish a functioning Homeland Security Department in half a decade, a government that is capable of creating the Coalition Provisional Authority or Bush’s FEMA, is no one’s idea of an effective instrument for climate planning. Plainly the destruction of government—the turning over of regulation to predators, military functions to mercenaries, the Justice Department to a vote-suppression racket, and the Supreme Court to fanatics—has been the price of tolerating the Bush coup of November 2000. Soon we will face the aftermath of all this, with the fate of the earth in the balance.