Whether building fortresses, and many other things that rulers frequently do, are useful or not

From the NYRoB:

“A critical mistake was made,” observed the American security analyst Anthony Cordesman as early as September 2003. “By creating US security zones around US headquarters in Central Baghdad, it created a no-go zone for Iraqis and has allowed the attackers to push the US into a fortress that tends to separate US personnel from the Iraqis.”

The Green Zone has apparently become an idyllic suburban transplant in the midst of a Baghdad that resembles the Beirut of the 80’s. Private security forces are supplanting the American military, and the rich and white population travel in heavily armed convoys. You’d have thought those silly neo-conservatives would have read their Machiavelli.

“The best fortress a ruler can have is not to be hated by the people: for if you possess fortresses and the people hate you, having fortresses will not save you, since if the people rise up there will never be any lack of foreign powers ready to help them.” (The Prince, Chapter 20)

The military likes bases and safe spaces, and I can’t blame them for that. So do I! The problem with the Green Zone is that it divides the country into safe (green) and unsafe (red) spaces. The goal ought to have always been to make the whole country green! As the matter stands, the average Iraqi is stuck out in the Red Zone with the insurgents, and can only preserve his or her own safety by siding against the Western invaders.

You know, everyone says that conversatives are supposed to be better at making war than liberals. I don’t buy it. The bad Straussians in this administration are just smart enough to trick the rest of us into doing something we ought to have known better about, but still too stupid to realize that all the liberal ‘whining’ and ‘cowardice’ was in fact wisdom.

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