Re: state of memes

From: Dace (
Date: Fri Oct 05 2001 - 18:19:40 BST

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    Subject: Re: state of memes
    Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 10:19:40 -0700
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    > > > >And then the US withdraws gracefully from the Middle East, right?
    > > > >afraid not. Hussein was demanding Arab self-determination. That
    > >the
    > > > >US stops pouring money into Israel and propping it up as a regional
    > > > >superpower. It means we don't buy off Egypt as a potential
    > >counterbalance.
    > > > >It means we're not supporting fanatical theocracies that happen to
    > >provide
    > > > >us with plenty of oil, like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It means
    > >off
    > > > >and allowing the Arab world to constitute itself and sell its goods
    > >it
    > > > >sees fit. Of course, Hussein hoped to dominate this process himself.
    > >But
    > > > >even if he'd succeeded it would have been an improvement.
    > > > >
    > > > Somebody who gassed Kurds and Iranians would be an improvement?
    > >
    > >The US gave him the gas for the express purpose of using it against Iran.
    > >The Kurd thing was his own idea. Naturally, the US had no objection to
    > >this.
    > >
    > > > What was bin Laden's opinion about Hussein's sacking of Kuwait? Would
    > > > have committed mujahideen fighters fresh from victory over Soviets in
    > > > Afghanistan in a jihad against the butcher of Baghdad to protect King
    > >Fahd
    > > > and Saudi Arabia (see Yossef Bodansky's _Bin Laden_, 1999,
    > >Forum,Rocklin,
    > > > California, p. 29) and if so would he and his forces have suffered the
    > >same
    > > > fate as Iranians and Kurds did before?
    > >
    > >Your point is opaque.
    > >
    > >
    > I figured it would be clear to someone familiar with bin Laden's bio.
    > out Bodansky's book (where I cited above) and see what you gather. The
    > about the mujahideen getting gassed by Hussein was a possible consequence
    > was pondering. They would not have had the stealth bombers/fighters and
    > smart weapons at their disposal (excepting the Stingers) against Iraq if
    > they had fought Hussein instead of the US, UK, et al. Would bin Laden et
    > have been successful against Iraq (san infidel support), preventing a
    > possible invasion of Saudi Arabia after Kuwait had been invaded?

    Hussein never had the slightest interest in invading Saudi Arabia. It was
    Kuwait, not Saudi Arabia, that was traditionally part of Iraq.

    > Did the U.S. really give Hussein gas for use on Iranians? Any cites for
    > or can someone corroborate.

    Several countries were involved in arming Hussein with nerve and mustard
    gas, and all of them were perfectly well aware of what he was doing with
    these weapons. Only Russia refused to arm Hussein during the war with Iran.
    In fact, there was a shipment from the Soviet Union on its way to Iraq when
    Hussein started the war, and it was halted mid-stream and brought back to
    Russia. This is what caused the final break between Iraq and the Soviet
    Union, putting Iraq squarely into the American camp. There are tons of
    articles and books dealing with this. Here's a long but fascinating article
    on the geopolitical situation in the Middle East during the 80s:

    You'll find all the citations you want there.

    > We have a bad track record with supporting bad people. The Northern
    > are portrayed as the noble heroes now. Strategically for the short term
    > could be a plus, but what about any long term blowback potential as we saw
    > with support of the mujahideen? Aren't the Northern Alliance (aka
    > of the North?) affiliated as Shiites with Iran? The situation with all its
    > subtleties is a little too complex for me to parse, Iran seeming a wild
    > and Pakistan (with its ISI and Taliban connections) likewise.
    > Israel and India are a couple wild cards too, if it comes to blows.

    How about not messing with the internal affairs of other countries? What
    right do we have to influence who governs Afghanistan? The assumption is
    that we're so morally superior that it's okay for us to instigate coups or
    manufacture chemical weapons or aim nuclear missiles at countries we don't
    like. There's a degree of narcissism at work here. It's our collective
    narcissistic pathology that determines which memes succeed and which don't.
    We identify with Israel but not with Palestine. Thus pro-Israeli memes
    propagate like bunnies while pro-Palestinian memes find themselves in an
    extremely hostile environment. The kill-Osama meme spreads like wildfire
    while the let's-pause-and-reflect-on-what-we've-done-to-bring-this-on meme
    is dead on the vine. The concept of terrorism is defined exclusively in
    narcissistic terms. Thus when we bomb Iraq, that's not terrorism because
    terrorism, by definition, is anti-American. While national narcissism isn't
    a meme in itself, it provides an environment which is favorable to some
    memes and toxic to others.


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