11 January 2005

for the past several weeks, i've been trying to diagnose the source of the blogging malaise that afflicted me this fall and looks to be gearing up for another semester of sporadic posting. my diagnosis: i don't have anything new to say.

heads up, bush administration: if you are interested in what's wrong with your iraq policy, and why things keep getting worse instead of better, feel free to read anything i wrote in 2002 or 2003 that references iraq. for that matter, read anything that any antiwar blogger had to say during those days. it is still true that we were unprepared for any but the most shot-in-the-dark, one-in-a-million miracle of an outcome. it is still true that the half-truths and outright fabrications that allowed us to get into this war are seriously affecting our ability to get out of it with american dignity and iraqi lives intact. it's still true that the war is a dodge to avoid domestic issues. it's still true that the war in iraq detracts from the fight against actual terrorists.

look at today's nyt: another baghdad official assassinated, more ugly photos from abu ghraib.

paul krugman recently wrote that recent american history sounds rather like the plot of an exceptionally bad novel. he's right, as usual, and the primary design flaw in this novel (aside from its unbelievably contrived plot) is its neverending sense of crisis. when crisis doesn't recede, people begin to regard it as normal. people live in war zones, and the war, present every day, recedes a bit in consciousness.

it is dispiriting, to say the least, to feel the same sense of outrage i felt two years ago. to write a few dozen more entries in which i decry the immorality and duplicity of our involvement in iraq is just...boring.

which is precisely the problem, i suppose. people get bored with suffering and ruthlessness and all the human foibles and begin to think of them as part of the natural landscape. and meanwhile the suffering and ruthlessness go on, mostly unabated.

maybe it's not for me to point out the same awfulness every day for the next several years, but i am sure thankful for people who do.