Monday, July 23, 2018

Where or When


The following is from the song Where or When, originally in the Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms.  It has been sung by many great pop singers as well as by Rock and Roll groups like Dion and the Belmonts.  

A portion of is goes: 

It seems we stood and talked like this, before
We looked at each other in the same way then
But I can't remember where or when

The clothes you are wearing are the clothes you wore
The smile you are smiling you were smiling then
But I can't remember where or when


The song captures the well known feeling that we have done this all before.  Thus it is with Trump's angry tweets against Iran.  This time the feeling covers two separate disasters.   The first disaster was the Bush II era war against Iraq - yes we won the early rounds, but got outpointed and lost the fight (the fight may still go on, but trust me, there will be no victory parades. The second disaster is the Trump presidency itself with its cavalcade of angry tweets and loudmouth performances.   Every day with President Trump is like the Jersey Boys version of a presidency - loud and cheap.  (And no, I don't mean to dump on NJ, after all, I am in many ways, a NJ patriot, but it is a useful stereotype for  crude, loud and ignorant.)

And what is the point of the tweets?  If we think the Iraq War was fucked up, how do we think a war against Iran will go.  Iran is almost 4 times as large as Iraq, with more than double the population.  And unlike Iraq which was divided, the Iranians are very much a single people. 

My guess is that the Iran tweets will abate as Trump finds out just how stupid his threats look.  But you never know.  

PS: we often see a retired military man show up on TV on one of the cable gabfests and they generally sound confident that military intervention in some form might work. But hasn't history taught us that generally we are worse off than had we done nothing?  For example, folks are saying ISIS is defeated but in fact it has made a tactical retreat and has reformed in Northern Iraq.   And if we go over the long list, we have endless dead wasted in a series of useless wars, whether in Vietnam, or Afghanistan or Iraq.  

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