Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The real malaise of the Western establishment

Back in the 1990-ties while being a high school kid and a student in Serbia all sorts of "democratic" activists would tell stories of how in the US and the EU every politician is accountable for his mistakes and could never get away with what politicians in Serbia get away with etc. While these people seemed even back then to me like political komissars telling the proletariat about the heaven on earth that would come when "communism arrives" I did believe their core message: that in the west politicians get away with far less then in Serbia. But as you grow older and providing you do not shut yourself to new facts, you learn different.

Unaccountability is alive and well in the USA as it has ever been in Serbia. Author Jacob Heilbrunn shows this in "The case of Fouad Ajami". After listing his past predictions about Iraq and how literally all of them were spectacularly wrong, Heilbrunn goes on:

Why is it worth recounting Ajami’s prognostications? The main reason is that, as Anatol Lieven has perceptively pointed out, there has been almost no accountability among pundits and policymakers for the debacle in Iraq. Quite the contrary. Instead of honestly facing up to their mistakes, the prophets of war have glibly moved on. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of Professor Ajami’s essay in this Sunday’s New York Times, which is called “The Clash.”


If Ajami were a doctor or a lawyer, he would be accused of professional malpractice and disbarred. His noisy cheerleading for the Iraq War and woefully blinkered assessments of the Arab world are the equivalent of a lawyer perpetrating fraud on a client—or of a doctor diagnosing cancer when heart disease is the true malady. In Washington, DC, however, different rules apply. Despite his myriad shortcomings, Ajami’s reputation has remained largely intact, allowing him to continue living in his own dream palace.

And Ajami is far from the only one. All those predicting how enthusiastically the "Iraqis" will embrace their newfound freedoms, of the triumphant entering of US forces amidst cheering crowds are in the quickest to post simillar predictions about Iran as well. Nobody takes them to task over their blunders, nobody questions their authority, nobody asseses the consequences of their failed predictions they just move on as if nothing happened. One day when they do get out of everyone's face they will be earning money by publishing their fat, unreadable memoirs while millions of us will wind up suffering as a result of their hubris, lack of learning and wishful thinking.

Want to go to war based on the assesments of Ajami and his ilk? Good luck, you're gonna need it!

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